Lakes represent important resources within Europe, providing drinking water, hydroelectric power, flood control, recreation and fisheries. Developments in sensor technology now allow high-resolution monitoring of lakes and reservoirs from in-situ platforms, with the data provided to local end-users by web-based technology. The information acquired by these systems is currently reviewed on a site-by-site basis, but an even greater potential lies in the integration of data from many sites into a European network. Barriers to the development of such a network include, for example, a lack of information on the number of sites currently monitored, and the need for standardisation in data collection, processing and quality control. The over-arching objective of NETLAKE is to establish a network of scientists, technologists, managers and stakeholders focused on the development and application of cutting-edge sensor technology for the protection of European lakes and reservoirs. Deliverables will include a meta-database of instrumented sites, case studies on management-relevant topics, data analysis tools, and a citizen science programme to involve local communities in the protection of water resources. The key deliverable, however, will be the establishment of the NETLAKE network itself, bridging communication gaps between researchers, policy makers and managers, and between scientists and local communities.