The Meuse River: Storing Water near the Source

Geographical location:

Europe/Middle-East > West Central Europe > Belgium

Europe/Middle-East > West Central Europe > Netherlands

Meuse Valley
© (c) WWF Belgium/Philip Weiler

Summary

With the cooperation of local farmers WW'F works on a project to prevent future floods of the Meuse river in Belgium and the Netherlands. WWF aims to bring measures into operation for water retention to avoid downstream damage.

Background

As a result of the modification of land use, draining of high peat bogs, forestry and increasing urbanization, natural river catchments have disappeared. Since many decades this causes water problems, for example the floods of the Meuse in 1993 and 2003.

Traditionally water problems were resolved at the time and place of occurrence by drainage, building dikes, canalising brooks or other measures. Moreover the planning and implementation of river management measures took place at regional or national levels. Since the creation of the European Framework Directive on water, problems have to be solved at international level.

Objectives

The aim of the project is to restore wetlands in the low mountain ranges.

Solution

- Improve communication with Walloon authorities and bring into practice the concept project of Bergen van water (Mountains of water) on Walloon territory.
- Cooperate with Walloon farmers.
- Share experiences within the European Freshwater Programme.
- Research the possibilities for an international, externally financed project.

Achievement

- Relationships with Walloon policies have been registered.
- The first cooperative farmers have been gathered.
- The concept is brought to knowledge of Walloon authorities.
- Financing possibilities for an international project have been analysed.

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