Fresh and salt water transitions Volkerak-Zoommeer; how and where?

If the Volkerak-Zoommeer is becoming salt again, this will require solutions for fresh-salt transitions. How and where can we best apply these, taking into account all the effects? With that question Rijkswaterstaat, the province of Noord-Brabant and the Waterboard Brabantse Delta approached the Delta Platform.

A living lab to find robust solutions

To find the optimal solution with an eye to safety, economy and ecology, the Delta Platform has set up a living lab. Here, students from three universities of applied sciences and two research universities together with other experts can develop/generate knowledge. This is done in the form of workshops and a competition. The goal is to find robust and globally applicable solutions for fresh-salt transitions.

Fresh or salt Volkerak-Zoommeer: conflicting interests

The (again) admitting of tides and therewith salt water in freshwater areas is intended to reduce or solve problems with the water quality, such the presence of blue-green algae. It is an issue with many different and often conflicting interests. The drinking water sector, agriculture and industry benefit from the lowest possible salt content; there are strict standards for the chloride content. Ecology and nature, however, actually benefit from mild and gradual salt transitions. And then there are the shipping and ports sectors with an interest in a smooth passage.

Technique for fresh and salt separation: the bubble screen technology

There are already several projects underway, on the one side to reduce salt intrusion, and on the other side to boost the exchange of fresh and salt water. Techniques for fresh and salt water separation are also available, such as the bubble screen technology, in which air bubbles provide a natural barrier. The way forward is to combine all these interests, initiatives, expertise and experts to arrive together at the best solution.

Come up with solutions by means of competition

This delta case is set up as a competition. The top three groups will present their solution visually, for example in the form of a film and accompanied by a schedule of requirements. The results will be assessed by the clients and the Delta Platform. The most elaborate ideas may lead to further assignments.

Knowledge clusters fresh-salt transitions

In workshops, the following knowledge clusters have so far been defined.
•  System knowledge and underlying processes salinization
•  Hydrodynamic models
•  Relationship salinization and water system distribution
•  Benefit from salt leaking reducing measures and dealing with increased chloride levels
•  Governance
•  Technology and object

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