The restoration of engineered watercourses or surface areas close to watercourses plays an important role in the work of the Ruhrverband, since nature conservation legislation requires modifications to natural landscapes, such as the construction of wastewater treatment plants, stormwater overflow tanks and other wastewater installations to be balanced off by ecological restoration measures. Therefore, to name just a few, the Ruhrverband has created compensation areas such as the Oefte compensation area pool and the Rellinghausen Ruhr Island in Essen.
Moreover, the Ruhrverband has developed new methods to meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive to ensure a "good ecological condition" of watercourses by 2015 in the most cost-efficient way. Concrete plans such as the Paasbach concept for watercourse restoration (KNEF) aim at identifying new solutions to reconcile economy and ecology.
Another way for the Ruhrverband to help restore nature is to follow both ecological and economic principles in landscape management. If the lawnmower takes a break now and then, the result are lively and colourful green areas, as exemplified by the ecologically managed green areas on the premises of the Ruhrverband’s wastewater treatment plants.