Measures pertaining to the Coast

Measures in the Southwest Delta, being implemented under the national Delta Programme, are in full swing. The agenda for the years ahead also features new projects.

The Delta Plans on Flood Risk Management, Freshwater Supply, and Spatial Adaptation comprise a wide range of measures and projects specifically aimed at the Southwest Delta.

Milestones of the past six years

Over the past six years, the implementation of measures has produced significant results in this area. Some of the milestones:

  • The comprehensive Waterdunen project has been completed. This project involved a combination of coastal reinforcement, nature development, and leisure activities.
  • The Roggenplaat sand replenishment project in the Oosterschelde has also been completed. This project was aimed at enhancing both nature and safety (reduced wave attack on the south coast of Schouwen). 
  • The projects of the Freshwater Testing Ground involve close collaboration between entrepreneurs, experts, and authorities to improve freshwater availability and expand its efficient use. 
  • The Roode Vaart project is in progress. The work in the Zevenbergen rural centre will be completed by the end of 2020. This will enable additional freshwater supply to West-Brabant.
  • The Kop van Schouwen Smart Sand Use pilot has produced such results as new dynamics and enhanced ecological and landscape values of the dunes. It also covered sand replenishment on the Brouwersdam beach, which is pivotal to the regional economy.
  • Within the framework of the Zeeland Climate Adaptation approach, the climate stress tests have been completed and a provincial risk dialogue has been conducted. The result is the Memorandum on Climate Adaptation: Zeeland risks mapped out.

Plans for the six years ahead

The agenda for the six years ahead features several projects and activities. Some noteworthy milestones for the period 2021-2026 are:

  • The Flood Risk Management Project Organisation involves collaboration between the Scheldestromen district water board and the Rijkswaterstaat Sea and Delta division. In the years ahead, it will be working on the Hansweert dyke improvement. This is the first project in Zeeland to be carried out under the latest safety standards. In addition, the project pursues maximum sustainability and circularity.
  • The Zeeland Delta Plan on Freshwater Supply will be substantiated. The Testing Ground and the pilot studies will be continued.
  • The regional water system will be designed and managed in a more resilient manner in pursuit of a closer interconnection with the main water system. The reuse of effluent is being explored and substantiated in several areas (Bath and Terneuzen region).
  • The Southwest Delta Consultative Body will be launching a regional process in pursuit of a climate-resilient freshwater supply in the Southwest Delta. The Consultative Body will also be conferring with stakeholders regarding potential solutions to the current issues of Lake Volkerak-Zoommeer, for both the period that Lake Volkerak-Zoommeer can remain a freshwater lake and the period beyond, within a potential saline future scenario.
  • The Restoration of Grevelingen Tidal Movement project is working on the restoration of limited tidal movement in lake Grevelingen, in order to reduce the surface area of the oxygen-deprived lake bed, and to enhance water quality and underwater nature, which have been affected by the Delta Works. In the long run, sea level rise will complicate preservation of the desired tidal dynamics. The project team is elaborating two sluice variants that take this into account. The sluice will also enable the generation of sustainable energy by a tidal plant.
  • Expertise and research remain important. Knowledge issues involve, e.g., the impact of sea level rise. Such issues will be accommodated in the Sea Level Rise Knowledge Programme. Knowledge issues relating to freshwater supply are addressed in the Zeeland Delta Plan on Freshwater Supply. The knowledge issues relating to more integrated regional taskings will be incorporated into the Southwest Delta Knowledge Programme that will be set up.