Deltares views nr 1 2009


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Deltares views nr 1 2009

  1. 1. magazine No. 1 2009 Solutions for Joint Industry Modelling for a sustainable Projects: shared megacities planet problem, shared benefits Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 1
  2. 2. CONTENTS P10 P9 Joint Industry Projects: shared problems, shared Solutions for a benefits sustainable planet Page 12 > Page 4 > South-East Asia Delft-FEWS: flood forecasting around South-East Asian the world Peatlands: how to halt degradation and start restoration Page 6 > Page 14 > South-East Asia DELTARES USA INC. established Modelling for China Page 9 > megacities In China: The Netherlands capacity building Calculated failure for groundwater Page 20 > of a Smart Dike management NEWS Page 25 > Page 10 > Page 17 > PhDs Page 27 >
  3. 3. P17 P20 P20 P14 P20
  4. 4. © Nout Steenkamp Fotografie Solutions for a sustainable planet 4 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  5. 5. PREFACE top: Managing Director Harry Baayen between Erik Janse, Director Operations and Market (left), and Huib de Vriend, Director Science bottom: The management team on a field trip “How can life be made safer, The literal meaning of the healthier name ‘Netherlands’ is ‘low lands’. and more This country has developed on the flat, low-lying land where In 2008, four renowned Dutch orga- nisations decided to pool their know- profitable?” ledge and expertise. WL | Delft Hydraulics, three major European rivers – GeoDelft, TNO’s Subsurface and Groundwater unit and parts of Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Directorate-General the Rhine, the Meuse and the for Public Works and Water Management) joined to- gether to set up Deltares, an independent institute for Scheldt – fan out to form a single the development, dissemination and application of knowledge concerning water, soil and subsurface. The river delta beside the North Sea. result is an organisation superbly well-equipped to address complex, integrated issues relating to water, soil, subsurface management and spatial planning in deltas, coastal areas and river basins. The Netherlands is a very modestly sized but densely This magazine offers a literal and figurative overview populated country and economically highly active. of the world of Deltares. It is an anthology of ideas, in- Thanks to its location, it is naturally well-connected to sights, future prospects and alternative angles – in other the rest of the world and its inhabitants have always words: news and views. It looks at research, support and engaged in an on-going battle to balance those benefits advice on improving the management and design of delta areas, at exchanges of state-of-the-art scientific against the intrinsic risks of life in a low-lying river basin. know-ledge and smart technology, and at fruitful exam- Living in such a place is a constant challenge. How can ples of cooperation with stakeholders at international, life be made safer, healthier and more profitable? These national and local level. are questions faced by delta and coastal areas world- wide. For centuries, the Netherlands has acted as a test This first issue offers a wide range of topics. You can bed for innovations in spatial planning and water man- read, for example, about tailored support for urban agement. The country has always been keen to share water management, science-based advice on climate- the resulting knowledge and know-how, just as it has friendlier methods of peatland management, the appli- always been eager to learn from other people’s experi- cation of sensor technology in a ‘Smart Dike’, or a unique ence. One of the most important lessons is the need to flood warning system with a rapidly growing user com- take an integrated view of land and water, nature and munity. The common denominator in all this? Unity in man, risks and potential benefits. Only an integrated diversity. In other words: Deltares. approach can provide sustainable solutions to issues re- lating to water, soil and subsurface. In the Netherlands, Harry Baayen, we have a name for it: we call it Delta Technology. Managing Director Deltares Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 5
  6. 6. Flooding by the river Meuse, the Netherlands © Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Delft-FEWS © E. Scheepers 6 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  7. 7. Flood forecasting around the world What do water managers in the United Kingdom, Spain, Pakistan, the Netherlands and the United States have in common? They all use Deltares’ Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) to generate flood predictions. The user community is growing, as is the number of potential uses. So what is the secret of Delft-FEWS? Swiss FEWS system: work in progress Water management authorities worldwide are increa- Stephan Vogt of the Swiss Federal account the possibilities of flood singly turning to automated systems to help them Office for the Environment forecasting as a basis for early manage flood risks. Masses of data, both meteorologi- (Bundesamt für Umwelt, BAFU): intervention. Consequently, we cal and hydraulic, are being combined and processed to “The development of the FEWS are now developing the FEWS produce real-time information and forecasts that pro- system for the river Rhine was system. In 2006 a manually vide a sound basis for flood warnings and rapid strate- co-initiated by us together with driven stand-alone forecasting gic decision-making. the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat in the system came into operation. We “The need is the same everywhere – to give maximum late nineties. So Switzerland, are now looking to incorporate warning of flood risks – but the procedures, the form of where the Rhine rises, has been additional meteorological model automation and the software vary from one water man- familiar with FEWS for quite a data and will change the system agement authority to another. Delft-FEWS is making it long time. One of the worst flood to an automated one in order to possible for authorities worldwide to construct and use events that Switzerland has provide real-time forecasts. This modern, tailor-made forecasting systems and to en- seen in the last century occurred will give us more time for model hance them by sharing new applications with other us- in 2005. Damage amounted interpretation. Over the next ers, despite the differences between their systems. We to some 3 billion Swiss francs. few years, this will be applied are supporting the process by way of advice, research, FEWS was used at that time and to additional river basins, not education and training.” So says Karel Heynert, manag- provided valuable information, just the Rhine. One of the main er of the hydrodynamics and operational systems sec- even though it was then only strengths of FEWS and Deltares, tion at Deltares. Together with Simone van Schijndel, in a pre-operational state. The is that it is relatively easy to manager of the operational water management section, 2005 flood event triggered a build up a system step by step to he is responsible for the management and development new approach to integrated suit one’s particular needs and of Delft-FEWS. risk management, taking into criteria.” >>> Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 7
  8. 8. >>> ‘Building blocks’ monitor the strength of dikes. The larger the user com- Delft-FEWS is a modular software package. Water munity, the more can be achieved. Users stand to learn management authorities use the different ‘building a lot from each other. That’s the lesson of each of our blocks’ to create their own forecasting systems. The soft- annual user days.” ware supports practically all the usual kinds of data, as well as various forms of data management and model- Added value ling. “You can build on and expand the application as The United States’ National Weather Service is a brand much as you like”, Heynert explains, “keeping it dead new user. The NWS wants to replace its obsolete fore- simple or making it highly complex. Delft-FEWS always casting system with Delft-FEWS and a number of new offers flexibility no matter how you use it, whether on applications. “Of course, we’re delighted”, says Heynert. an individual PC or as the backbone of a national flood “The extent of the activities and the large-scale use warning system handling vast flows of assorted data.” will undoubtedly produce added value for the whole For Deltares, however, Delft-FEWS is not an end in itself. user community.” According to Van Schijndel, the flexi- “The point is to help water managers find answers to bility in the scale of the application offers interesting pressing questions”, says Van Schijndel. “What are the prospects.”Some ‘clients’ want to use Delft-FEWS on a risks of flooding? How can flooding be predicted and how national scale, like the United Kingdom or now the US refined does forecasting need to be? Is research needed service, but of course the software can also be used at to achieve this? Is current monitoring data sufficient? individual river basin level. Here in Europe, for instance, What modelling information is relevant? Who’s going to it’s being used for the whole Rhine basin. And in South- use the forecasts? Delft-FEWS is a way of providing wa- East Asia, the four-nation Mekong River Commission is ter managers with appropriate answers.” using it for that river basin. Delft-FEWS and cross-border cooperation go well together.” Free of charge Delft-FEWS is available free of charge. “How many bodies For more information: around the world are concerned with flood forecasting?” or wonders Heynert. “A couple of thou- sand, I should think, and not all of FEWS put to the test in Scotland those are in a position to invest in advanced systems. We need to work With a number of large rivers had for the south-west. We knew together to succeed.” Users need not flowing through urbanised areas, it would be relatively easy to roll pay for the software. It is better for Scotland has had its share of river out the system across the entire them to invest in their own operating flooding problems. About 100,000 country, which we did. Now, all environment (hardware, capacity, properties across Scotland are at of our eight hydrological offices data files) and the development of risk of fluvial or coastal flooding. are using Delft-FEWS. Apart necessary applications, like a plug-in The Scottish Environmental from various hydrological data, for an external database or a visu- Protection Agency (SEPA) is the the system is now fed with data alisation facility to support policy- national flood warning authority. from the Met Office, the Storm making. Then the user community Michael Cranston explains how in Tide Forecasting Service and the can benefit from the applications 2006 SEPA decided to implement Continental Shelf Model. And we developed by other users. As Van Delft-FEWS in order to provide a are in discussion with energy Schijndel explains, “FEWS is an national flood warning system. providers about the input data open system that’s developing all “Several flood warning schemes from their hydroenergy schemes. the time. It’s now also being used to have been developed over the All in all, we have come a long generate information about water last twenty years for major way in developing an operational shortages, water quality, oil spills urban areas like Edinburgh. In system in a relatively short time. and algal blooms. Other potential 2005 we started looking for ways It was actually tested recently uses are to forecast hurricanes and of producing more accurate when we experienced a flood in and timely forecasts so we can Kilmarnock, in western Scotland. give out targeted warnings. We The forecasts and the feeds we “You can build needed a system with which to got from our duty officers and our process and integrate all our partners worked extremely well. on and expand hydromatic data, with links to We were able to issue warnings flood forecasting models and a four to five hours before flooding the application good user interface for flood duty occurred in Kilmarnock. This officers. After running a pilot, we proved our flood risk management as much as decided to apply Delft-FEWS to has substantially improved.” the flood warning schemes we you like” 8 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  9. 9. DELTARES USA INC. established Deltares USA Inc. was established on will likewise include the development and maintenance 1 November 2008 and has immedi- of the system, so it is important that Deltares should ately started work on a major project. have a local presence. The new company will work together with the US National Weather Service Toon Segeren is very content with the contract: “The US to develop the new forecasting sys- system is going to be used differently from the one in tem. Deltares has plenty of experi- the UK. The US has water systems of a different kind, USA ence in this field. The system will be with different characteristics and on a much larger based on Deltares’ own Flood Early scale, so the job will give us interesting new insights. Warning System (Delft-FEWS) software, which is already Also, the National Weather Service is part of the Nation- in use in a number of countries, including the United al Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. Kingdom. Deltares developed and implemented a UK na- Like Deltares, that’s a research-oriented organisation tional flood warning system in 2002 and is still closely and we are very pleased indeed to have this opportunity involved in its management. The job in the United States to work with it.” Flooding by For more information: the river Meuse, the Netherlands “Delft-FEWS and cross-border cooperation go well together” © E. Scheepers Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 9
  10. 10. September 2008. Somewhere in the Netherlands, a hundred-metre-long dike (levee) collapses, making international news. A flood disaster? Fortunately not: ‘just’ an experiment. The Smart Dike is a unique facility for testing dike monitoring systems. It is used to try out new inspection and monitoring techniques and to gather useful information on failure mechanisms. Like the instability investigated last September. Deltares is one of the bodies behind that exercise and project manager André Koelewijn talks about a successful trial. Calculated failure of a Smart Dike Members of the The Netherlands Smart Dike Team 10 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  11. 11. “It wasn’t just the dike that failed; the ground under it Proved in practice first gave way. The six-metre-high flood defence was toppled by major stability problems, exactly as intend- Inventec was one of the participants in the macro- ed. A wide range of advanced monitoring equipment in instability trial. Director Martin Veldhuis: “We tested and around the dike was tested and we got a detailed our D!kealert system, which uses optical glass fibres. picture of the failure mechanism concerned: instability.” You embed them at a shallow depth in the dike and The Smart Dike project involves cooperation between launch a light pulse into them. The glass fibre sensor and information technology developers and expands and the back-scattered light is analysed suppliers on the one hand and research institutes and by a reading unit; this tells you whether there’s any water management authorities on the other. Deltares is deformation in the dike, and if so where. A single coordinating it. “We facilitate cooperation between the reading unit can monitor a 25-kilometre stretch various parties and schedule the activities. The unusual of dike and the system is extremely sensitive: thing is that the project also involves ICT research. The deformations are registered right down to 0.002 relevant sensors and the monitoring apparatus linked to mm/metre. So D!kealert is ideal for use as an Early them are field-tested under uniquely realistic conditions.” Warning System. We knew that from feasibility studies, but now we’ve proved it”. Right inside If measurements show that the dike is starting to Organising this sort of field test is a complicated busi- move, the owner can proceed to close monitoring ness, if only because of the number of participants in- of the area concerned. There too, Inventec has volved. In this case, ten different suppliers from a range a solution: the company acts as an agent for of countries were testing their monitoring equipment, ShapeAccelArray/Field (SAAF), produced by the and bodies like TNO were conducting research. In addi- Canadian company Measurand Inc. Veldhuis: tion, Deltares was using conventional equipment to take SAAF is an inclinometer based on nanotechnology. reference measurements to calibrate the instruments A SAAF is an array of linked sensors which will hinge being tested. Koelewijn: “From earlier trials and mod- in all directions. So each element works, as it were, els, we know the best place to take measurements in a as an inclinometer. By taking readings from them collapsing dike is right inside it, because that’s where all simultaneously, you can construct an accurate it begins to fail. At the same time, you have to watch 3-dimensional image of the deformation.” The SAAF for interference between the different monitoring in- was used in the field trial preceding the instability struments. For instance, the audio source for a listening trial. SAAFs are also used in the Smart Dike to take tube produces vibrations which can interfere with other reference measurements. Reason for satisfaction? instruments. To prevent that, you have to make com- “Certainly, and we’re also very happy with the promises. Deltares advises on the best place to install way Deltares cooperates with us and coordinates the sensors.” the trials.” One layer at a time Constructing the dike was no easy task. If it collapsed too quickly, there would be no significant monitoring data. here benefits everyone. Like the knowledge about dike But it had to be weak enough for the failure to involve the erosion produced by French research.” Due to expertise ground beneath it. “For safety’s sake, we conducted an gained from the Smart Dike project, the Netherlands initial field trial on a smaller scale”, says Koelewijn, “The has been invited to join a cooperative association of results of that mini-trial provided a model for the con- dam owners mainly in Canada and the United States. struction of the main test dike. The dike was construc- “Organisations in India and Bangladesh are also showing ted one layer at a time. The monitoring instruments are an interest in using sensors tested in the Smart Dike to expensive and it was important not to damage them in monitor their dikes.” the construction process. The contractor had the right experience of dealing with sensitive apparatus: working Next trial for the army’s Explosives Ordnance Disposal Command. So what’s next? “The next trial is scheduled for the autumn of 2009. The mechanism under investigation The stability trial was a great success. The Deltares test data are currently being analysed prior to publication. will be ‘piping’. This is where a dike failure is caused by sand boils. In other words, water washing away part of To our mind, there’s no such thing as a ‘poor’ result. All information is valuable because it tells us more about a sand layer from underneath the dike. There are also the behaviour of dikes.” plans to test a particular method of strengthening exis- ting dikes.” First of all, however, a new Smart Dike must International be built. “But not in the same place. The ground under- The Smart Dike is an international affair, as Koelewijn neath a dike collapse is weakened for decades to come.” stresses: “Tried-and-tested technology doesn’t just come from the Netherlands and knowledge developed For more information: Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 11
  12. 12. Joint Industry Projects Shared problem, shared benefits Looking for the solution to a specific problem requiring fundamental or applied research? Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) are a way of creating exclusive knowledge in partnership. On sandy sea beds, like that of the North Sea, currents Scour management and wave action can produce scour. This happens, for “As a consultancy assisting individual parties, Deltares example, around the jack-up platforms used to drill has carried out various scour assessments in the past”, wells in new oil and gas fields. Excessive scour can lead explains senior researcher and advisor hydraulic engi- to a reduction of foundation fixity at the seabed, with neering Daniel Rudolph. “In doing so, we discovered the all the potential consequences. However, there are no lack of detailed knowledge concerning the behaviour guidelines available for scour assessment, scour predic- of jack-up platforms in an environment liable to ero- tion and scour protection design for jack-up footing. In sion.” Following physical modelling, Deltares developed other words, how to deal with this problem is a pressing a dataset of scour measurements for a number of dif- issue for users, owners and designers of jack-up plat- ferent types of jack-up footing, leading to an improved forms and one they would be glad to see answered. method of prediction. “In view of our extensive research and modelling facilities and our experience of developing highly specific software applications, we now have a real possibility of making a valuable contribution to scour management by way of applied research.” 12 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  13. 13. OSCAR Rudolph sought cooperation with companies that may research. Wave specialist Martijn de “We stumble be interested in the knowledge resulting from such re- Jong: “Numerical and physical model- search. “The oil and gas industry, companies hiring out ling of wave conditions and resulting on a problem jack-ups and designers… They all stand to benefit from vessel motions in shallow water led the answers to our key research question: under what conditions will scour occur and to what extent?” to the development of specific knowl- edge and tools which can be used to and realise increase the reliability of offshore The JIP Offshore Scour Assessment and Remedial LNG terminals. It was the combined that there’s Measures (OSCAR) project was launched in October efforts of coastal engineers, vessel 2008. “It’s a multi-faceted project. By 2010 it should have produced a systematic database of scour measure- hydrodynamics specialists, and de- signers that made this project such a a lack of ments for various types of jack-up design, including success. Over twentyfive companies information on the effectiveness of remedial measures, and research institutes recognised fundamental guidelines for scour-friendly jack-up design, prediction the relevance of this research sub- tools for scour depths around and below spud cans, and a scour management tool (OSCAR - the scour manager) ject and participated in the project.” knowledge that can assist in scour prediction and the conceptual High waves design of remedial measures.” ComFLOW-2 was another successful about it” international JIP. It involved coope- Other JIPs ration between MARIN, Deltares, the JIPs vary widely in scale and approach. For example, University of Groningen, Delft University of Technology, since 2003 Deltares has been running a Joint Industry FORCE Technology and around twenty parties in the off- Project the aim of which is to mitigate the effects of gas shore industry. The main purpose was to improve Com- pockets in wastewater pressure mains. Such gas pock- FLOW, a computer model used to calculate wave forces ets can substantially reduce mains capacity – by 90% on ships and offshore structures like jack-up platforms in some cases – increasing energy costs and causing and semi-submersibles. Since storm waves can be high unnecessary overflows. Indeed, the blockage may be so enough (over 10 metres is no exception) to cause ex- great that it becomes impossible to operate the pres- tensive material damage and endanger human life, it is sure mains at all. Rudolph’s colleague Ivo Pothof: “This extremely important to the offshore industry to under- project, CAPWAT, is being conducted in collaboration stand complex wave movements. ComFLOW-2 is there- © Princess Amalia Wind Park with various partners in the Netherlands, such as en- fore unlikely to be the end of the story: ComFLOW-3 is gineering consultants, pump manufacturers and water on the horizon. top: Attendees boards.” JIP forum Good deal The feasibility of using osmotic membranes to generate Rudolph feels that in cases like this a JIP is the best way bottom: discussing electricity (Pressure Retarded Osmosis, PRO) is the sub- there is of filling the knowledge gap. “We stumble on a research results in ject of a new JIP currently in its start-up phase. Fresh problem and realise that there’s a lack of fundamental modelling facility water flows through an osmotic membrane to the pres- knowledge about it. We don’t have surised brackish water side and powers a turbine and any structural solution - after all, it generator. The partners in this JIP will include energy takes complex research to find one, companies, membrane producers and pump manufac- and that takes time and money. So turers. A pilot plant is to be built in order to investigate if we can agree to share the costs of the performance and efficiency of complete membrane research with a number of partners modules. – with a fixed agreement that only they will have access to the results – HAWAI everybody wins. A problem shared is Deltares has also been involved in a successful interna- a problem halved – or, in the case of tional JIP called HAWAI (sHAllow WAter Initiative), which a JIP, decimated.” was launched in partnership with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) in 2005 and completed For more information: late 2008. The purpose of this JIP was to develop predic-, tion methods for wave conditions in shallow water and or resulting vessel motions of LNG carriers at near-shore terminals. When LNG carriers (ships used to transport Liquefied Natural Gas) are moored in shallow water, low frequency waves may cause excessive vessel motion. This is a specific but complex problem requiring targeted Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 13
  14. 14. Deltares supports planning and design of peatland water management systems, aiming to control water levels in order to reduce subsidence and carbon emissions, and conserve forests. South-East Asian Peatlands How to halt degradation and start restoration South-East Asia 14 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  15. 15. Tropical peat is vulnerable. Over the past two decades, peatland development in South-East Asia has led to rapid degradation of vast stretches of peatland. This has had a substantial impact on the global climate as well as on the local environment. Time for action, but of what kind? Peatlands are extremely wet (90% water). The dry com- water tables?” Conservation and development need to ponent consists of vegetal remains. This is mainly car- be balanced, says Hooijer, and require careful planning bon and highly sensitive to hydrological changes. In that includes science-based water management. “Peat, many areas, deforestation, drainage and the burning after all, consists mostly of water. Improved water man- of peatland have resulted in substantial C02 emissions, agement will benefit production in developed peatland loss of biodiversity, soil subsidence and reduced capacity areas and mitigate the effects of droughts, floods and for water storage. This has increased the risk of flood- subsidence.” ing in low-lying areas inside them and downstream. In order to halt and reverse these and other effects, there Assessment is an urgent need for science-based insights into more To acquire much-needed knowledge, Deltares has sustainable peatland management. launched various initiatives. In 2006 the PEAT-CO2 report was produced in collaboration with Wetlands Understanding International and Alterra. It is an overall assessment of Now that the severe consequences of large-scale peat- CO2 emissions from drained peatlands in South-East Asia. >>> land degradation are being recognised worldwide, more and more governments, NGOs and companies are eager to invest in measures to counter further degradation Kalimantan and improve conditions. The question is what measures will be most effective in the long term. One of the larger projects in the area involves a Dr Aljosja Hooijer, senior advisor at Deltares, and other programme for the Rehabilitation and Revitalisation Deltares consultants are involved in various restoration of the Ex-Mega Rice Project (EMRP). Hooijer: “Of the advisory projects and research initiatives. “Forested total South-East Asian peatland area, 80% is in lowland peatlands make up 10% of the South-East Asian Indonesia (22.5 million hectares). The Dutch and land area (some 27 million hectares). More than half of Indonesian governments joined forces in 2007 this is now fully deforested and often drained, and much to develop a Master Plan for an area in the river of that developed land is unproductive. There has been delta of Central Kalimantan where the Indonesian relatively little study of tropical peatlands and their water government originally intended to convert up to management requirements are poorly understood. That one million hectares to rice cultivation. Hence the is why, in addition to what we learn through advisory name Mega Rice Project. The peat soils failed to projects, Deltares is investing in and conducting funda- support rice growth, however, and extensive drainage, mental research into the causes and effects of peatland deforestation and wildfires have turned most of the degradation.” area into unproductive wasteland.” Assessments show that the hydrological function “We are talking about millions of hectares of forest ve- of the peatland has been permanently changed getation remains that have accumulated in these peat- and flooding is now a serious problem. “Most of the lands over thousands of years but could largely be lost 920,000 hectares of peatland in the area, half of within a few decades.” The volume and characteristics of which is over three metres deep, is now a significant peat layers vary considerably. In many places, the peat source of CO2 emissions. Action is required.” The is more than 10 metres deep but in others less than Master Plan was completed in October this year three; in some areas the vegetal remains are almost by a Dutch consortium led jointly by Euroconsult fresh, in other areas they are largely decomposed. “In Mott MacDonald and Deltares. It will be implemented other words, we require more specific knowledge of what over the next few years with support from the we are dealing with locally. How do different peat types relevant Indonesian ministries, and with funding respond to different drainage regimes? Exactly what from the Dutch and Australian governments and processes contribute to the oxidation and shrinkage of other sources. the peat and to what extent? How does drainage affect Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 15
  16. 16. Kampar Peninsula Another project is being run on the Kampar Peninsula, in the Province of Riau, Sumatra. Deltares has been called in by a pulp and paper producer to support improvements in water management in 100,000 hectares of acacia plantations on peatland. The aim is to reduce soil subsidence (leading to flooding), C02 emissions and degradation of adjoining conservation forest. “In the Kampar Science-Based Management Support Project (SBMS Project), we are heading a team of consultants and scientists, including staff from the University of Leicester, ProForest, University of Helsinki, University of Wageningen and the producer itself. The project started in April 2007 and will take three years.” Activities include the monitoring and assessment of relationships between water depth and peat subsidence, CO2 emissions and forest health. Results will be applied to long-term water management strategies for the plantations and adjoining conservation areas, and will be used in the design and implementation of water management infrastructure. “Basically we are looking for sustainable ways to maintain production in the plantations while conserving the surrounding peat swamp forest. The company is trialling several water management dam-and-bypass systems in different pilot areas, and we are monitoring the impacts and studying the underlying hydrological and soil processes. Hundreds of dams have already been built in the plantations and water levels have been raised substantially. More will follow.” >>> “By combining data on the extent and depth of peat, As part of the Singapore Delft Water Alliance (SDWA) present and projected land use and water management programme, the University of Singapore and Deltares practices, decomposition rates and peat fire emissions, have launched the four-year Peatland Water, Carbon we were able to project present and future emissions”, and Ecosystems Management Research Programme to says Hooijer. “We were thus able to demonstrate clearly improve peatland management practices in South-East the significance of emissions resulting from decomposi- Asia. The programme comprises five work packages, tion of drained peatlands and from peatland fires asso- and includes the development of training programmes ciated with drainage and degradation. Total emissions for specific target groups. “Together with the Singapore from these sources may be equivalent to as much as 7% National Environment Agency, we are undertaking a of global fossil fuel emissions, and we expect these will peatland water management training programme in now gradually be recognised by intergovernmental bod- the Indonesian Province of Jambi, which also serves as ies like the International Panel on Climate Change.” The a study site. This will be done in collaboration with the assessment also shows that emissions from peatland University of Jambi. Needless to say, collaboration with drainage may further increase over the coming decades relevant organisations in Indonesia is highly important if peatland management and planning practices are not if we are to raise awareness and understanding of the changed, and that they will continue throughout the requirements for sustainable peatland management.” 21st century. For more information, visit, or 16 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  17. 17. In China Capacity building for groundwater management Tiger Spring area China Sixty per cent of the world’s drinking and irrigation wa- in Jinan ter is groundwater. It is vital, therefore, that adequate Most Chinese cities are heavily groundwater sources remain available and that they dependent on groundwater should not become contaminated. Reliable information for their urban water supplies. is essential if we are to be able to manage these valuable In the North China Plain, the resources effectively and take prompt action to protect figure is 70% dependency. Of all them where necessary. Over the last five years, Deltares groundwater abstracted, 80% has been helping government authorities in China develop is used for irrigation. Especially a Groundwater Information Centre. in North China, more than 50% of the total water supply comes In view of its vast economic growth in recent decades from groundwater. and the prospect of large-scale climate changes, project manager Dick van Doorn thinks that China has taken the right steps at the right time to ensure effective man- agement of its groundwater resources. “We completed the project this year and it’s been very successful. Both sides have learned a great deal. China is prepared to invest a lot of energy and resources in the solution of its groundwater problems.” The many project activities included the delivery of trai- ning to over a hundred Chinese experts (partly in China and partly in the Netherlands), the establishment of three local databases and a central database at CIGEM (the China Institute of Geo-Environmental Monitoring), and the development of groundwater models that have helped China to draw up policy scenarios for the future. >>> Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 17
  18. 18. >>> Background The project was launched in 2003 and the training of Chinese experts at Deltares and the UNESCO-IHE In- stitute for Water Education began that year. However, it took extensive negotiations between China and the Netherlands to get that far. The first talks took place as long ago as the 1980s. In 2001 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) decided to provide funding for the project (around € 3 million) under its Development and Environment Related Export Transactions (ORET/MILIEV) Programme. Once the Chinese Ministry of Finance (MOF) had given its approval, the agreement was signed in Bei- jing in October 2002. China’s contribution to the project consisted of many hundreds of man-months and local hardware. Information needs The ultimate aim of the project was to contribute to top: Camels in “Without the long-term socio-economic development of China by ensuring the sustainable use of groundwater resources. Sustainable groundwater resources development plans good quality Chaiwopu basin, south of Urumqi cannot be formulated without adequate information bottom: Cotton on groundwater quantity and quality. Producing such pickers in irrigated area, north of Urumqi groundwater, information requires optimised groundwater monitoring networks and well-calibrated groundwater simulation models to predict the impacts of groundwater develop- serious ment scenarios. A national Groundwater Information Centre was found to be necessary to meet China’s infor- damage is mation needs in this respect. The centre is to be respon- sible for groundwater monitoring, information dissemi- nation and the formulation of sustainable groundwater inevitable” resources development scenarios. Wells The key aim is to obtain reliable data on which to base a proper system of groundwater management. To achieve this, wells had to be sunk and sensors installed in them to monitor all the necessary quantity and quality pa- rameters. To optimise these groundwater monitoring networks, automatic data loggers were installed for Project profile efficient groundwater management and data collec- tion. The wells had to be sited in such a way as to give Name: Capacity Building of a China the management authority a clear picture of the sta- Groundwater Information Centre tus of the groundwater throughout its area. The REGIS Dates: 24 March 2003 – 31 October 2008 (REgional Geohydrological Information System) data- Counterparts: Deltares, UNESCO-IHE, Van Essen base developed in the Netherlands proved, after some Instruments modification, to be suitable for use in groundwater Partners: China Institute for Geo- management in China. Van Doorn: “It would be physi- Environmental Monitoring (China cally impossible to investigate the status of ground- Geological Survey), Geo- water throughout the whole of China, so we conducted Environmental Monitoring pilot studies in three areas. They were selected because Stations of Xinjiang, Beijing and of the major diffe-rences in their problems and subsoils: Shandong Provinces the Beijing Plain, the Urumqi River Basin and the Jinan Funding agencies: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ Karstic Spring Catchment area.” DGIS (ORET/MILIEV), Ministry of Land Resources of China Satisfaction Type: Institutional Capacity Building Van Doorn looks back on the project period with satisfac- tion. “I’ve been visiting China for years now and I’ve seen 18 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  19. 19. the country change out of all recognition. For a European, Beijing Plain it’s almost unimaginable that a country’s economy and technology can advance so quickly. Without good qual- Groundwater resources in the project (South to North water ity groundwater, serious damage is inevitable. Our proj- Beijing Plain area have been transfer) will be operational ect has proved to be particularly useful in averting that. rapidly depleted by over- from 2009 and by 2010 a total Altogether, we dealt with an area where between forty exploitation, constant drought of 1 billion m3 of water will in and sixty million people live and work.” All the parties from 1999 to 2007, and reduced principle be transferred to Beijing involved would like to extend the project to similar arid recharge from rivers. In the each year for use in urban areas in northern China but the feasibility of any sequel Chaobai River Catchment Area, and industrial water supplies. depends on political and budgetary decisions in China groundwater levels declined by Groundwater abstraction will and the Netherlands. more than 20 m between 1999 then be reduced. The simulation and 2005. A modelling study of model was used to determine For more information: the Beijing Plain indicated that how a steady-state groundwater the main recharge of groundwater system can be achieved. is by direct infiltration of pre- cipitation, followed by boundary Other project activities took place inflow and river leakage. However, in the Urumqi River Basin and the drought has caused a continuous Jinan Karst Spring Catchment Area. decline in inflow and leakage. Read more about the subject at The cross-basin water transfer Three pilots Urumqi river basin pilot Beijing plain pilot Jinan karstic spring catchment pilot Three pilots area 400 0 400 kilometers Chinese and Dutch experts around a monitoring well Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 19
  20. 20. Deltares assists urban water managers with integrated analyses, predictions and advice Modelling for megacities South-East Asia 20 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  21. 21. Jakarta In the night of 3 – 4 June 2008, water from the Java Sea surged into Jakarta. It wasn’t a flood disaster, however. Deltares had predicted the exceptionally high tide and the authorities had taken preventive measures. Jakarta breathed a sigh of relief – but not for long. Like so many urban areas in similar circumstances, the city is strug- gling to cope with a host of water management prob- lems. By considering these in an integrated way and finding structural solutions, Deltares is working to cre- ate a safe, healthy and sustainable urban environment. And not just for the people of Jakarta. You might say that Indonesia’s capital Jakarta in the delta of the Ciliwung River is between the devil and the deep blue sea. Groundwater extraction is causing the ground under the city to subside by about 8 cm a year. The area’s meagre sea defences are also subsiding, mak- ing flooding a real threat, especially since almost half of this vast city (population over 9 million) lies under sea level. But the main problem is the limited capacity of the storm drainage system. In the rainy season, this causes major problems, with downpours often flooding whole areas of the city. Add to this the expected consequences of climate change and it is clear that something really has to be done. Flood Initiative As part of the Jakarta Floods Initiative (JFI), a public- private partnership project launched by the Netherlands in 2007, Deltares has mapped all the watercourses in an area measuring 60 km by 40 km. JanJaap Brinkman, who is responsible for the Flood Hazard Mapping part of the JFI, explains: “The disastrous floods of February 2007 cost the lives of more than fifty people and caused almost a billion US dollars worth of damage. The episode roused great international interest in the flood problems of Jakarta. The Indonesian government has specifically asked for the Netherlands’ help in the battle to prevent flooding.” Deltares has used its know-how to improve understan- ding of the precise nature of the problems and the effectiveness of possible measures. “Thirteen rivers flow through Jakarta and the city also has an extensive canal system. This whole complex is now being modelled for the first time and the project is producing valuable in- formation.” It has shown, for example, that 70 to 80% of the February 2007 flooding could have been prevented by clearing the clogged waterways of sediments and domestic waste. “This information also provides the ba- sis for activities like flood hazard mapping. Where will structural problems occur, given a particular amount of rainfall? How does this relate to disaster management Bird-eye view of Hong and evacuation plans? Kong City Center >>> Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 21
  22. 22. the necessary measures. And it will need all of that time, because large-scale engineering works will be required. The insights provided by our work mean that efforts can be focused where they are needed.” For more information: Hongkong The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China covers an area of over a thousand square kilometres. Its collection of islands and peninsulas means that almost all of Hong Kong is surrounded by water. An exception is the North Dis- trict, which is separated from the Chinese mainland by a natural border: the Shenzhen River, which flows into the Pearl River delta. Hong Kong is hilly but, like Jakarta, its urban area suffers from periodic flooding following heavy downpours. A master plan for dealing with this risk in the two northern districts of the New Territories is being drawn up with Deltares’ assistance. Downpour “We began examining the drainage of this area in 2008”, says Adri Verwey, senior specialist in modelling systems. “Around half of the area consists of steep hills covered with low vegetation. During the summer rainy season, there are frequent downpours. As much as 145 mm of >>> Where are measures like dredging and river dikes most rain can fall in an hour. The water rushes downhill into urgently needed? These questions can now be answered.” what are now heavily populated areas. The urban area above: In the night And not only that: the flood hazard maps are also valu- is set to expand and there’s a big risk of flooding, even of 3 - 4 June 2008, able in relation to town planning and as a tool for edu- though measures like the construction of concrete lined water from the cating and informing the population. drainage channels have already been taken. There’s a Java Sea surged good reason for the warning you see posted up every- into Jakarta Prediction where beside these channels. The response time is very What about the sea? Brinkman thinks the high water level short.” of last June has nothing to do with climate change. “By combining our coastal and urban models, we discovered Exact knowledge that the current exceptionally high sea levels are the re- Consultant Mott MacDonald and Deltares have been sult of a lunar cycle. Every 18.6 years, the moon’s orbit asked to draw up a master plan for this area investigating passes especially close to the earth.” Deltares is keeping the present drainage system and proposing measures a sharp eye on flood risks in Jakarta. “We now produce to improve it. Although flood prevention measures have daily water level predictions for Jakarta. However, we already been taken in recent years, Verwey thinks there are only just starting to make structural improvements is every reason to develop a better understanding of the in urban water management and the creation of a safer system in order to be able to anticipate future develop- coast.” As the moon’s orbital cycle takes it steadily fur- ments. After all, urban expansion will put further pressure ther away from the earth again, sea levels will subside. on the drainage system. “The problem is not just urban But in 18.6 years, the city will face the same problem expansion in Hong Kong. Just over on the Chinese side again. By that time, however, the city and its coastal of the river is the city of Shenzhen. These days, it has defences will have subsided by almost another 150 cen- a population of ten million, whereas thirty years ago it timetres. Without structural measures, says Brinkman, was just a village. Silt from the Pearl River is another is- a four-kilometre coastal strip in which millions of people sue. During the dry season, it’s deposited in the mouth now live will be seriously threatened if not entirely un- of the Shenzhen River. Both Shenzhen and part of the inhabitable. “Jakarta can think itself lucky that Deltares Hong Kong North District rely on the river to discharge has discovered this. The city now has 15 years to take their drainage water. And plans to develop new residen- 22 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  23. 23. tial and industrial areas make it impossible to increase ter quality, both during the present transitional phase the discharge capacity of certain drainage channels. So and thereafter. Saltwater flora and fauna will perish. The it’s an extremely complex problem.” water from the rivers and canals emptying into the bay inevitably contains pollutants. Without tidal movement Cyclones to flush the bay, oxygen depletion, unpleasant odours Deltares will assist in the preparation of the master plan and bacterial pollution may result. Excessive concentra- by surveying the current situation and estimating sce- tions of nutrients may also produce undesirable algal narios. What will happen if urban expansion continues? blooms. In view of Marina Bay’s planned function as a What will be the effects of climate change? “We are even combined freshwater reservoir and high-end leisure and producing an estimate of the possible frequency of cy- lifestyle area, the question is how to manage the water clones.” To achieve all this, the modelling of the area to get the best results. is being improved. “Buildings, morphology, sedimen- tation, earlier flood episodes, physical obstacles and High quality changes in the drainage system, sewerage… everything The Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB) – managing is being taken into account in order to produce an over- authority for the entire drinking water and wastewater all, up-to-the-minute picture of the situation. Alterna- chain – has asked Deltares to assess the impact of the tives emerging from the scenario studies include not transition on water quality and to guide developments only an improved use of water detention, modification in water quality management. “Water management in of discharge capacities and the creation of polders and Singapore is a whole other story”, confirms Tjitte Nauta, diversions, but also environmental measures like man- project manager Marine and Coastal Systems. Singa- aging mangrove forests and creating ‘green’ rivers. But pore’s hydrological situation and the high water quality let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The master plan isn’t targets for the area call for an unprecedented form of due for completion until 2010. First of all, we need to water quality control. “Marina Bay is booming. In this make a thorough analysis of the situation. downtown district, a high-profile business area and en- tertainment quarter, the quality of life is extremely high. For more information: The same standards are being set for the reservoir. The water must be clear, clean and unpolluted. But, however good the technology, you can never completely safe- guard a body of water like the Marina Bay Reservoir. No Singapore sewer is entirely leak-free and it’s impossible to identify and eliminate every source of pollution. All you can do is identify the possible risks and do your utmost to control Urban water management embraces many different them. That, in a nutshell, is what we’re doing right now. disciplines, as illustrated in Singapore, where Deltares The result of our efforts will be an Operational Manage- faces a different kind of challenge. With a population ment System (OMS) that will enable the PUB to manage of over 4.5 million in an area of less than 700 km2, the reservoir with maximum effectiveness and forestall The Marina Barrage, Singapore is a relatively small but densely populated risks by combining non-stop monitoring of water qual- completed in 2008, country with a big demand for fresh water. In order to ity and quantity with water quality forecasts.” was built to protect meet that demand in future without needing to import >>> low-lying parts of the water from Malaysia, as happens now, the Singapore city against flooding authorities are currently creating reservoirs for rain- water storage. One method is to close off estuaries, like Marina Bay in the heart of the city. The Marina Barrage, completed in 2008, was built to protect low-lying parts of the city against flooding. At times when the city is swept by torrential rain, the storm water drains away through nine sluices, supple- mented in case of flooding by seven pumps, each with a capacity of 40 m3/s. The Barrage will eventually turn Marina Bay into Singapore’s fifteenth freshwater reser- voir. With a catchment area of some 10,000 ha, it will be able to satisfy approximately ten per cent of the city’s current water demand. Flushing But first the conversion must be completed. Meanwhile, Marina Bay is the focus of rapid up-market urban de- velopment. The closure of the bay entails risks to wa- Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 23
  24. 24. Simulation >>> Innovation To manage the water in Marina Bay, it will be necessary The water quality modelling framework provides the ba- to identify all the factors that can impact on it and to sis for an initial version of an operational system com- simulate all the water management processes. Deltares bining all the relevant data flows. In 2006 work began manages large-scale modelling systems for tidal move- on an intensive monitoring programme. Sensors were ments in the South China Sea and the Straits of Singa- placed and measurements taken all over Marina Bay. pore. Nauta: “We’ve used these to establish surrounding “We’ve now collected a great deal of information about conditions for a detailed 3D model of Marina Bay. We water quality and quantity. For instance, by monitor- have also linked this to a 1D model of the urban water ing the nature and quantity of substances, we’ve estab- systems connected to the reservoir.” lished exactly how heavy rainfall flushes out the canals No sooner said than done. Integrating the hydrology that empty into the bay.” (HYMOS / SOBEK), hydrodynamics (Delft3D-FLOW) and Work is now being done on turning the Online Manage- water quality (Delft3D-WAQ / ECO) of the Marina Bay ment System into a continuous water quality forecast- catchment area, has enabled Deltares to analyse the ing system. “That way, risks can be forestalled. It can effects of proposed management measures now and in even become a completely automated process.” Nauta the future. is uncertain when all this will happen. “But by the end of the transitional phase in 2009, proper management of Advice the new reservoir’s water quality will definitely be pos- Nauta thinks that further measures will be required be- sible.” That won’t be the end of the story. “Ideally, to fore mid 2009, the starting date for the full conversion optimize the management of the reservoir, the system of the reservoir to a freshwater system. Singapore will will also need to cover all the linked reservoirs. The first soon have an extensive infrastructure for the recircula- moves in that direction have already been made and ex- tion and purification of wastewater and storm water. The tra research programmes have been established.” The product can be used to constantly refresh the water in PUB, the National University of Singapore and Deltares the reservoir. “We have estimated the potential for this have set up a Centre of Excellence for Water Knowledge and come to the conclusion that an optimum combina- (the Singapore-Delft Water Alliance) to conduct such re- tion of source control, including elimination of leakage search. “Flood forecasting systems already exist, but an from the sewage system, recirculation and aeration of integrated management system for overall water qual- water in the reservoir will significantly reduce the risk of ity that can also be used for forecasting is something breaches of water quality targets and make the problem completely new.” more controllable.” For more information: Pearl River Delta in the picture In the Pearl River Delta, the Chinese province of Guangdong and Hong Kong SAR have been working since 2000 to create joint sustainable development and environmental protection policies. One main Focus on water policy focus is water quality management. Water quality management quality is threatened by the increasing quantities of domestic and industrial wastewater. To investi- gate the problem, use is now being made of state- of-the-art 1D-3D models developed by Deltares. In a separate interview, project leader Jos van Gils explains how Deltares has managed to model the entire river basin, a complex and sizeable water system, by linking separate model systems. Van Gils: “This means that predictions are based on the whole picture, with all the consequent benefits for water quality management. It may sound simple, but this is a unique project, in terms both of software development and the size of the area being modelled.” Read the entire article on 24 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  25. 25. NEWS Aquaterra 2009 From Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 February, Amsterdam Water Partnership have carried out a research project RAI hosted Aquaterra 2009, World Forum on Delta and on the sustainable development of deltas. The research Coastal Development. Aquaterra serves as a platform report provides background information on the main for everyone involved with the management and de- themes of Aquaterra 2009 as well as velopment of delta and coastal areas around the world. profiles of eight river deltas around The forum comprised an extensive programme which the world. included an introduction to major themes as well as a presentation of best practices. A number of specific For more information, visit ‘Delta cases’ were discussed by international experts. Aquaterra also included an exhibition of key organi- or contact sations involved in delta development. To support the The Netherlands Aquaterra conference, Deltares and the Netherlands Sharing knowledge of sustainable soil management worldwide The Netherlands Soil Partnership In a small, densely populated country like the Nether- for the remediation of contaminated soils. Concepts for lands, good soil management is an absolute necessity. the subsoil storage of gases or water and for breaking The Netherlands has been developing and pursuing in- down contaminants on site (without excavating the soil) tegrated policies on soil management, spatial planning, are also attracting attention. The Netherlands Soil Part- agriculture, water and energy ever since the 1980s. As a nership (NSP) was set up on 15 July 2008 as a way of result, a great deal of knowledge has been developed and sharing knowledge effectively and learning from other is now available. Dutch government agencies, compa- people’s experience. This public-private partnership con- nies and knowledge institutions are keen to contribute centrates and coordinates Dutch expertise and experi- to the development of sustainable environmental poli- ence regarding policies, knowledge and implementation cies worldwide by sharing their experience of function- in the area of sustainable integrated soil management. based soil management in combination with risk man- Deltares is one of the initiating bodies. agement and land development. There is widespread international interest in areas such as Dutch techniques For more information: IGRAC celebrates 5TH anniversary The International Groundwater Resources Assessment tor of IGRAC, and a group of internationally renowned Centre (IGRAC) aims to improve the understanding and groundwater specialists spoke on a range of subjects. management of the earth’s freshwater resources through The symposium also saw the premiere of a short film the sharing of information and experience. One way of on Groundwater and Global Change. This is one of four achieving this is the development of a Global Ground- films on groundwater that IGRAC has produced to raise water Information System (GGIS). IGRAC operates under awareness among non-specialist audiences. They can the auspices of UNESCO and the World Meteorological be seen on YouTube, or you can contact IGRAC through Organization. Founded in 2003, IGRAC is headquartered its website to obtain a copy on DVD. The lessons learnt at Deltares in the Netherlands. from the past five years and from the symposium will be taken forward in IGRAC’s future activities, such as its A global perspective participation in the next World Water Forum. On 5 June 2008 IGRAC celebrated its fifth anniversary with a symposium on ‘Groundwater, a Global Perspec- For more information on IGRAC and the symposium, tive’. The symposium was hosted by Peter Letitre, direc- including presentation downloads, visit Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 25
  26. 26. NEWS Deltares new EuroGOOS member Deltares was one of the two new in- of ocean variables needed to support For more information: stitutes welcomed into the EuroGOOS operational ocean services where- and community at the Annual Meeting ver they are undertaken around the in Galway on 9 October 2008. Nicki world. Villars of the Marine and Coastal Sys- tems Unit attended and represented Within EuroGOOS, Deltares is now Deltares at the official signing cere- the fourth institute from the Nether- mony. Deltares and the Portuguese lands, together with KNMI, NWO, Instituto Hidrografico bring the total and Rijkswaterstaat-Waterdienst. number of EuroGOOS members to 35, Deltares is currently also chairing representing 17 European countries. the NOOS community within Euro- GOOS, which focuses on the North- EuroGOOS is an Association of Agen- West European Shelf area. The in- cies, founded in 1994, to further the stitutes of the NOOS community goals of GOOS, the Global Ocean exchange daily water level forecasts Europe Observing System (GOOS). EuroGOOS as well as coastal monitoring infor- is focused on the development of mation in support of national flood operational oceanography in the forecasting services. In the future, European sea areas and adjacent NOOS and EuroGOOS will also ex- oceans, while GOOS is the overall tend their focus to include water international programme preparing quality and ecological forecasting, the permanent global framework of for example to predict (harmful) Signing observations, modelling and analysis algal blooms in coastal waters. ceremony New Dutch-Sino Centre for Coastal Geology September 2008 saw the establish- The joint research programme for ment of the Dutch-Sino Centre for the next years will focus partly on the Coastal Geology (DSCCG), a new improvement of research methods, institute set up as a platform for co- for example in the seismology field. operation between Deltares and the Another focus will be on market- China Geological Survey (CGS). Con- related issues, like the feasibility of tacts between the two institutions creating artificial offshore islands. Dr Zhong Ziran, go back more than 30 years and the Joint research projects will tend to China Director of the launch of the DSCCG has not been utilise advanced Chinese research China Geological a hasty business. The signing of vessels. Knowledge exchange will be Survey, and Professor the memorandum of understanding further promoted by temporary ex- Huib de Vriend, was preceded by a two-year project changes of personnel between the Director Science during which joint workshops were two institutions. at Deltares, sign a held to gain insight into each other’s Memorandum of knowledge in the field of coastal and Fore more information: Understanding on marine research. the new institute 26 Deltares VIEWS Nº 1
  27. 27. PhDs Eco-hydrodynamic modelling of primary production in coastal waters and lakes using BLOOM “Municipality does not want sedi-BLOOM has been developed and applied since 1977. ment pits in Lake Loosdrecht” andIt simulates the biomass and composition of algae in “Beach near Texel covered by mas-relation to the amount of nutrients, the underwater sive foam layer”. These are two light climate and grazing. In comparison to most oth- er primary production models currently in operation, examples of headlines in which al- BLOOM considers a relatively large number of algae gae growth is a central issue. Over recent decades, there has been anspecies, selected by applying an alternative competi- increase in the discharge of nu- tion principle. The model employs an unconventional Water lily almost trients from sewage treatment mathematical technique; it runs fast and can there- completely covered fore be used for long simulations of complex systems. plants, agriculture and industry into aquatic ecosys- by floating masses It has been applied worldwide to lakes, channel sys- tems, causing effects which are considered objection- of blue green algae tems, estuaries, lagoons and coastal seas. Recent able. On the other hand, life on earth depends on the fixation of sunlight by plants as a source of energyapplications include the assessment of the planned extension of the Port of Rotterdam, an analysis of the and in this respect no other ecosystem, including the tropical rainforests, rivals annual primary produc- consequences of constructing the storm surge bar- tion by phytoplankton in oceans and coastal waters. rier in the Venice Lagoon, construction of the Marine Phytoplankton play a major role in the carbon diox- Reservoir in Singapore and the environmental impact study on the future of Lake Volkerak Zoom in the ide cycle, although this has so far been only partially Netherlands (whether it should remain a freshwater quantified. Their growth and decline are therefore of crucial importance to the world’s climate. body or be returned to its original marine status). Al- though the model simulates only part of the aquatic To help understand phytoplankton dynamics and pre- ecosystem, results prove to be accurate enough to be dict future conditions, a mathematical model called valuable to water managers and decision-makers. For more information: Stratigraphy and sedimentary evolution The lower Rhine-Meuse system during the late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene The subsurface of the Netherlands is a geological 1.5 Ma. Subsidence and sea level archive that can provide information on the inter- movements appear to be the main relationships of fluvial and marine processes, sea factors controlling sedimentation level and tectonic movements and climate change. patterns. However, most of the sedi- To access that information, Wim Westerhoff has ap- ment transported by the rivers by- plied a new lithostratigraphy to the fluvial deposits of passed the Netherlands and this the southern Netherlands. This has improved insight explains the innately fragmentary into the interrelationships between various sedi- character of the preserved fluvial mentary layers formed between 2.6 and 1 Ma ago. sequences. The study concludes Floodbasin deposits It has also provided a framework for reconstructing that there are many uncertainties in the Early Pleis- (grey clay) of which the fluvial history of the area. The Rhine, the Meuse tocene chronostratigraphical subdivisions based on the petrographical and rivers originating in Belgium deposited strata of these sequences. composition demon- gravel, sand and clay in the southern Netherlands up strates that the Rhine to 100 m thick. The study has shown that sediment The results of the research will feed into subsurface delivered sediment delivery by the Belgian rivers occurred much earlier models that can be used in a variety of geoscientific from sources in the than hitherto believed. Continuous sediment supply investigations. In addition, the study contributes to a Alpine region to the by the main rivers caused a progressive shift of the better understanding of river behaviour in response North Sea Basin main deltaic areas to the north-west. The coastline to climate change. already during the migrated from the south-eastern part of the Nether- Late Pliocene at about lands to the central North Sea over a period of about For more information: 3 million years ago. Deltares VIEWS Nº 1 27
  28. 28. colophon VIEWS is issued free of charge to all qualified subscribers and is published by Deltares. Deltares is an independent research institute for water, soil and subsurface issues. It has been established by Delft Hydraulics, GeoDelft, the Subsurface and Ground- water unit of TNO and parts of Rijkswaterstaat. Throughout the world, more and more people are settling in opportunity-rich, but vulnerable, deltas, coastal areas and river basins. That vulnerability is being spotlighted because of rising sea levels, extreme river levels, subsiding soil, and increasing pressure on space and the environment. Deltares develops knowledge for innovative solutions that make living in delta areas safe, clean and sustainable. for more information: PO Box 177 2600 MH Delft The Netherlands text Direct Dutch Publications, The Hague T +31 (0)88-DELTARES (335 82 73) design Teldesign, Rotterdam print JB&A, Wateringen paper Printed on paper free of chlorine