Published: 2 July 2014
Adaptive dike can save millions of euros on dike upgrades
Bregje van Wesenbeeck, an ecologist and a specialist in natural water defences with Deltares, will be discussing this valuable feature of forebanks in greater detail at the Understanding Risk conference in London. ‘We can make dikes adaptable so they can cope with changing conditions. That could save us millions of euros in the future on dike upgrades’, she explains.
Design rules for hybrid solutions drafted and validated
Even so, forebanks are hardly included at all during assessments of dike protection levels. In addition to a lack of familiarity with this ‘hybrid solution’, this can also be explained by the lack of design rules. Bregje van Wesenbeeck: ‘That is why we are now working hard on drafting and validating design rules. The next step is to design tools that are easy to use, and that is being done in, for example, the EU project FAST.
As well as providing flood protection, forebanks also have socio-economic benefits
As well as providing flood protection, forebanks also have socio-economic benefits. Maintaining or restoring these areas outside dikes makes the landscape more attractive, drawing more visitors, and creates habitats for fish, shrimps and shellfish.