How we can help

How do you make sure your land reclamation stays in place with the least possible impact on the environment ? How do you create a beach with optimisation of safety, nature and recreation? How do you minimise sedimentation problems in ports or erosion of the coast or a river? Deltares maps the effects of existing and new infrastructure such as breakwaters, dams and land reclamation so that project developers, port authorities, governments, consultants and contractors can make better choices for their design, construction and management and maintenance. We look at whether we can create new opportunities for nature, economy or recreation in the area. We look far ahead and include sea level rise, climate change and population and economic growth.

From integral design to reliable predictions of environmental effects

Our in-depth knowledge of hydrodynamics, waves, sediment transport, morphology and ecology and the client's knowledge and experience provide advice to minimise environmental effects, increase economic and technical lifespan, and we look for integral solutions. For example:

  • Reliable predictions of environmental effects on the natural coastal system and vice versa
  • Rapid assessments early in the design phase to improve design, identify opportunities and minimise management costs and environmental impacts
  • Assessment and optimisation for coastal protection, stabilisation and maintenance strategies of beaches and land reclamation (Sand Motor, Hong Kong Airport, Dubai Palm Islands, Maasvlakte2)
  • Impact assessments: effects of construction and operation (including flow, dispersion and recirculation of thermal or dredge plumes resulting from construction or maintenance activities)
  • Sediment management for ports and waterways
  • Recirculation studies in water intake and discharge of cooling water

We help clients carry out integrated and rapid assessments at an early stage of the project to identify potential impacts, design optimisations and sustainable development opportunities. Using our open source software such as Delft3D and XBeach, we can model impacts at different scales; from local to regional, short- and long-term.

Constructing breakwaters, harbour dams and groynes sustainably and cost-effectively

Infrastructure built along coasts and rivers must be safe and stay in place. Especially in these places, they are vulnerable to erosion and flooding. Thanks to our knowledge of waves and currents and with our numerical models and large-scale research facilities, we help engineering firms, managers and designers with sustainable and cost-effective incorporation of infrastructure. That means from structural design to function within the water system and interaction with soil, sediment and ecology.

We investigate and advise on:

  • Stability and wave overflow of breakwaters and harbour dams, among others
  • Wave load and effects on breakwaters, piers, jetties, groynes, quays, dykes, geotubes, geocontainers, storm surge barriers, locks
  • Erosion and stability of dunes and pebble beaches
  • Scour around structures
  • Eco(system) engineering & Nature-based Solutions
  • Consequences of climate change, so that infrastructure is future-proofed to changing circumstances


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