Improving suitability of urban canals and canalized rivers for transportation, thermal energy extraction and recreation in two European delta cities

E.S. van der Meulen*, Frans H.M. van de Ven, Pieter R. van Oel, Huub H.M. Rijnaarts, Nora B. Sutton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Canals and canalized rivers form a major part of surface water systems in European delta cities and societal ambitions to use these waters increase. This is the first assessment of how suitability of these waters can improve for three important uses: transportation, thermal energy extraction (TEE) and recreation. We assess suitability with Suitability Indices (SIs) and identify which alterations in the water system are needed to improve SI scores in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ghent, Belgium. The results show spatial variability in suitability scores. Current suitability for transportation is low (SI score = 1) to excellent (SI score = 4), for TEE fair (SI score = 2) to excellent (SI score = 4), and suitability for recreation is low (SI score = 1). Suitability could improve by enlarging specific waterway dimensions, increasing discharge and clarity, and by enhancing microbiological water quality. The same methodology can be applied to optimize designs for new water bodies and for more water uses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-209
JournalAmbio
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date24 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Bathing
  • Suitability Index
  • Thermal energy source
  • Urban freight transport
  • Urban water
  • Waterway

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