Minister Mark Harbers and Delta Commissioner Peter Glas open the Roode Vaart water intake in Moerdijk

On Tuesday, 3 May 2022, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Mark Harbers and Delta Commissioner Peter Glas pressed a button and officially opened the Roode Vaart water intake in Moerdijk. The intake will ensure that the region will continue to have enough fresh water, even during dry periods. The Minister and the Delta Commissioner also took a look at the freshwater project Water between Ridge and Scheldt. During this visit, they heard more about the opportunities for using the runoff water at the foot of the Brabantse Wal (Brabant Ridge).

The official opening of the Roode Vaart water inlet took place in the presence of the Noord-Brabant Regional Executive member Hagar Roijackers, the dike reeve of the Brabantse Delta water authority Kees Jan de Vet, the young dike reeve of the Netherlands Julia Goets, and eighty project partners and stakeholders. Hagar Roijackers and Kees Jan de Vet welcomed the Minister and the Delta Commissioner on behalf of the Southwest Delta Area Consultation Platform. Hagar Roijackers chairs that platform.

Roode Vaart water intake installs a ‘second tap’

Water in ditches and rivers is important for nature, agriculture and leisure activities. We are seeing more frequent prolonged droughts and are trying to retain and distribute the available water as well as possible. Previously it was possible to let in additional water for the West-Brabant Mark-Vliet system (and the adjacent polders) at Oosterhout only. And so a “second tap” for this area has been installed at the Roode Vaart lock in Moerdijk. This is a water intake that allows us to send more than 3.5 thousand litres of water per second from the Hollands Diep to our area.

Water between Ridge and Scheldt makes the most of runoff water

After the opening of the Roode Vaart water inlet, the Minister and the Delta Commissioner visited the Water between Ridge and Scheldt project with the project partners. This project is exploring the opportunities to use the runoff water at the foot of the Brabantse Wal (Bradant Ridge). At present, this water, about 30 million cubic metres per year, flows into the Western Scheldt without being used. The partners, the Brabantse Delta and Scheldestromen water authority, the Zeeland and Noord-Brabant provincial authorities, and the Evides Water Company believe there are enormous opportunities. They do not want to waste a drop of the water that flows into Zeeland from Brabant.

The party started the visit by walking from the De Kraaijenberg visitor centre overlooking the Brabantse Wal and the Markiezaatsmeer lake. They then visited the Noordpolder nature area. During the visit, they were told more about the ambition driving the project. The project partners also gave a detailed presentation of the promising sub-projects for using runoff water that are being studied this year. The projects look at nature development, agricultural water, water quality and drinking water supplies.

Making progress together on freshwater supplies

Kees Jan de Vet: "Particularly now, when we are seeing climate change accelerating, it is extremely important to visit two Southwest Delta projects with the Minister and the Delta Commissioner. We were in Brabant but both projects are important for the region and they connect the freshwater supplies for West-Brabant and Zeeland. The parties involved are working together very well and that makes it possible for us to realise these projects with financial support from the Delta Fund."

Hagar Roijackers: "We know all about the struggle with water, certainly in this region. That continues to be relevant against the backdrop of climate change. As well as managing flood risk, we now want to retain water longer during dry periods and keep adequate stocks of clean water for nature, agriculture and our drinking water. For now and for later. Today has shown us that we can make progress only if we work together intensively."

The two freshwater projects that were visited contribute to the Southwest Delta’s ambition to be the world’s first climate-resilient region by 2050.