Placement of wood in streams has become a common method to increase ecological values in river and stream restoration and is widely used in natural environments. Water managers, however, are often hesitant to introduce wood in channels that drain agricultural and urban areas because of backwater concerns. This model aims to better understand the wood-induced backwater. A newly developed, one-dimensional stationary model demonstrates how the water level drop over the wood patch significantly increases directly after wood insertion. The model was calibrated with data from a field study in four lowland streams in the Netherlands. The backwater effects can be reduced by optimizing the location where wood patches are placed, and by manipulating the obstruction ratio. The model can function as a generic tool to achieve a stream design with wood that optimizes the hydrological and ecological potential of streams.