Controlled drainage in the Netherlands revisited? An overview of recent developments in surface water level manipulation and results of case studies

P.J.T. van Bakel

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic

    Abstract

    In the Netherlands most Waterboards generally manipulate surface water levels in order to influence phreatic groundwater levels. The main aim is to improve working conditions for agricultural crop production. This type of water management is questioned because the hydrological effectiveness is rather low and it may lead to unwanted effects on aquatic ecosystems and on adjacent nature areas. Together with a tendency towards self-regulating systems, these unwanted effects may lead to the idea that partly or fully controlled drainage has become an anachronism. A number of developments ask for a revitalisation of controlled drainage such as a) the problem of `Verdroging¿ (unwanted effects of improved drainage, water withdrawal and water supply on nature) can partly be overcome by surface water level management directed towards structural raising the groundwater levels in the winter period in buffer zones around nature areas b) growing awareness of farmers of the importance of water table management of `their¿ water courses for reducing drought damage or for reducing the amount of sprinkling irrigation and c) the governmental and waterboards policy to reduce the peak flows in order tot deal with the effects of climate change. Surface water level manipulation can have positive or negative effects on the peak flows. The paper will elaborate these new developments and will analyse results of field studies and model calculations which specifically deal with the problem.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • surface water
    • drainage
    • water management
    • regulation
    • netherlands
    • water level

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