Rhine Delta Programme measures
The Flood Protection Programme lists a large number of dyke improvement projects along the rivers Waal, Nederrijn-Lek, and IJssel. These dykes need to meet the safety standards that have come into force in 2017. Preparations are underway for the Waal sections of Gorinchem-Waardenburg, the city of Tiel, Tiel-Waardenburg, Nederbetuwe and Wolferen-Sprok; the IJssel sections of Zwolle-Olst and Apeldoorns Canal Hattem; the Nederrijn-Lek sections of Grebbedijk Wageningen-Rhenen, Rijnkade Arnhem, Lek dyke Amerongen-Wijk bij Duurstede, Lek dyke Nieuwegein, and Strong Lek Dykes; and the Zwolle City Dykes section along the Zwarte Water. The Twente Canal Zutphen/Gorssel project (IJssel/Twente Canals) is in progress. For the national border – Westervoort section (Waal/Pannerdens Canal), the pre-exploration / section-specific development will commence in 2019.
Wherever possible, we are tackling the taskings in an integrated manner, concurrently addressing flood protection, water quality, and the spatial quality of an area.
A good example of a comprehensive project is the IJsselpoort River Climate Park. Nine government bodies and Natuurmonumenten are working on a resilient and future-proof river climate park between Arnhem and Giesbeek, which will offer a pleasant location for residents to live, work, and engage in leisure activities on a safe river bank. To this end, the river IJssel will be widened, in coordination with the dyke improvements carried out by the district water board. The navigability of the river – in both normal and low water level conditions – will be improved. We are enhancing the water quality and linking the nature reserves in order to offer flora and fauna more room. We are also creating sufficient room for sustainable business activities, agriculture, leisure activities, and energy.
In 2018, the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure for the IJsselpoort River Climate Adaptation Park commenced. Meanwhile, a Preferential Alternative for a comprehensive set of measures has been developed. River widening in the IJsselpoort River Climate Adaptation Park (along the river IJssel) should not impact the discharge distribution between the rivers Nederrijn and IJssel. This means that the Nederrijn and the IJssel must be widened to equivalent extents. In 2018, the IJsselkop MIRT Study mapped out the options for river widening along the river Nederrijn. On the basis of this study, the IJsselpoort River Climate Adaptation Park exploration is based on a 10 cm water level reduction at the IJsselkop bifurcation (to be realised through an adaptive implementation programme) and a 20 cm reduction within the IJssel project area.
Expectations are that the Minister will endorse the Inter-municipal Framework Vision and the MIRT Decision by the first half of 2020, which will complete the Exploration Phase. Subsequently, we will enter the Plan Elaboration Phase, involving a more detailed elaboration of the plans and preparations for their implementation. In all probability, the elements set out in the Preferential Decision will be implemented in phases. For the time being, the first implementation phase will run until 2028.