Future-proof Hydraulic Structures

Many hydraulic structures are in need of replacement or renovation. What is the most efficient and cost-effective way of going about this?

The Netherlands has hundreds of hydraulic structures in the form of locks, weirs and pumping stations. They are important for shipping, water management and safety. Many hydraulic structures date from the mid-twentieth century. Considering an expected lifespan of approximately 100 years, around 250 hydraulic structures will have to be replaced in the coming decades. In addition, there are another 800 hydraulic structures that no longer meet the functional requirements of the future.

Hydraulic Structure
Image: ©Ronald van den Heerik / Hollandse Hoogte

This means that Rijkswaterstaat and the Dutch Water Authorities have a major task cut out for them. The research track contributes to this with innovative pilot projects and knowledge development. The key goal is to take an efficient and cost-saving approach to the replacement process.

The studies focus on four themes:

  • Existing hydraulic structures
  • New hydraulic structures
  • Hydraulic structures in the network
  • Planning & Governance

The result of the studies can also be put to good use abroad, because the challenge of building hydraulic structures efficiently extends beyond the Netherlands. Countries experiencing rapid economic growth are often in need of new infrastructure.

Storm surge barriers are specific hydraulic structures. More information can be found here.

If you would like to know more about Future-Proof Hydraulic Structures, please feel free to contact Babette Lassing or Albert Barneveld.