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Project Development of a Decision Support System for dredging on the river Waal

A computer based Decision Support System (DSS) for dredging is developed to support the operational management of the river Waal waterway.

Clients   Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RIZA)

Project number n/a
Geographical coverage Netherlands
Budget (in €) 0
Programme WL Delft Hydraulics
Web site
Objectives The river Waal, the largest Rhine branch in the lower delta, is the most important shipping route in the Netherlands. It connects the Rotterdam harbour with the German Ruhr area. In 1996 approximately 165 million tons of cargo were transported between Rotterdam and Duisburg. Since the Middle Ages river engineering works have been carried out to improve the river channel. Goods-traffic is expected to increase in the near future. In order to guarantee the safety and efficiency of the waterway, the navigation channel of the river Waal has to be widened. At the ‘Agreed Low River Level’, the channel should be 2.80 meter deep and 170 meter wide. At present the dimension are 2.50 by 150 metres. The enlargement of the navigation channel requires river regulation. However, regulation has to be executed within the physical boundaries of the river system. Dredging has been identified as the most promising river engineering measure for future regulation. The development of a dredging-DSS for the river Waal is now in progress. The DSS will be fully operational in 2003. At the base of the dredging-DSS is the combination of bed level monitoring-data with water level forecasts and 2-dimen-sional morphological computations. The dredging-DSS supports decisions on the location and planning of dredging work, anticipating critical low-water periods. It facilitates the analyse of dredging and dumping strategies, maintains a data-base with dredging information, and computes costs and benefits of dredging. The dredging-DSS is designed to be directly used by policy makers. Resource Analysis and RIZA very actively involve the future users in the definition of the DSS. In addition, specialists are sought to contribute to the DSS.
Results During the definition phase of the dredging-DSS consensus was reached on the purpose and set-up of the model. Choices were made on the design of the DSS and necessary follow-up research was identified. The future users are explicitly involved in the development of the dredging-DSS. A first version of the DSS is now used in practise for operational management of the river Waal. The experience with the dredging-DSS is used in its further development and the optimisation of the decisions surrounding the commissioning of dredging work.
Period [01/10/1998 - 31/05/2003]