Groundwater data essential for nature development in Cortenoever - Case Study
Province of Gelderland
Eijkelkamp Soil & Water
The Province of Gelderland is working with the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat), the Forestry Commission (Staatsbosbeheer), and the municipality of Brummen on a nature development plan for the Cortenoever hamlet. The current area will be designed in such a way as to create an even more valuable nature conservation area with clean and healthy water. As a result, animal and plant species that are supposed to form part of a ‘levende rivier’ (living river) return to the floodplains. Kees Buddingh, an Eco-hydrologist employed by the Province of Gelderland, explains the Cortenoever project.
‘The province of Gelderland is responsible for the management and creation of new nature areas and the strengthening of existing nature, based on the Gelderland Nature Network and Natura 2000. For the most part, Cortenoever is already a very beautiful nature conservation area. The purpose of this project is therefore to extend this nature network. Among other things, we will lower the floodplains by deepening the original winding channels. This will allow more water to enter the floodplains. The flower-rich grassland will also be expanded.’
Kees Buddingh - Eco-hydrologist
‘We are achieving the objectives established for the Cortenoever project based on Natura 2000, the Gelderland Nature Network (GNN), and the Water Framework Directive (WFD). One of the objectives is the development of a certain type of water that is suitable for the growth of plants, but also for the growth and living conditions of fish. It is also important that we start retaining water in this area. This mainly concerns the lower parts of the area. After a high tide situation during the spring, the ideal situation would be to retain that water so a large area is always covered with a shallow layer of water. Grassland that was flooded in the spring is a perfect spawning and juvenile habitat for certain fish species.’
Groundwater monitoring network
‘We were really lacking important groundwater information to arrive at a concrete plan. We know the water levels of the river, but the effects of these water levels on the channels we want to dredge and the extent of the fluctuation in the channels were unknown to us. In order to map these data, I asked Eijkelkamp Soil & Water to install a groundwater monitoring network. With this groundwater monitoring network, we will monitor the river’s response for two years.’
‘We have installed a monitoring well equipped with a Diver water level logger at three different locations. This will provide us with a clear picture of the interaction between groundwater, river water levels, and excess precipitation at various locations. And that will serve as the basis for the dredging of the channels. This monitoring network will allow us to determine how deep we need to dredge, how we can ensure that certain parts do not dry out and what the average water level is.’
It is all about data
‘Nowadays, it is all about data. In addition to the groundwater sensor, each monitoring well is equipped with a modem that sends the data to an online portal where I can easily access it. The beauty thereof is that there is no need to visit the different locations every time, because the sensor and the modem register everything.’
The province as an organisation
It is the task of the province to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible in the Province of Gelderland. This is done by the Provincial Executive, the Administrative Board, together with some 1,200 employees. The provincial organisation consists of a number of departments and programmes. The employees support and advise the Provincial Executive in the implementation of the coalition agreement ‘Ruimte voor Gelderland’ (Room for Gelderland) and implement the policy adopted by the Provincial Executive aimed at the province’s seven core tasks of supporting:
- Sustainable spatial development and water management
- The environment, energy, and climate
- Vital rural areas
- Accessibility and public transport
- The Economy
- Cultural infrastructure and cultural heritage
- The quality of public administration
Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management
Rijkswaterstaat is the executive body of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and works every day to ensure that the Netherlands is safe, liveable, and accessible. Rijkswaterstaat manages and develops the national motorways, fairways, and waterways and is committed to a sustainable living environment.
Under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for the ecological quality of the river system for the Cortenoever project.