How can we prevent discharge peaks and streams running dry?

In elevated sandy soils, proper water management can be a difficult problem. In many cases, the water supply consists solely of precipitation. To prevent pluvial flooding, excesses tend to be drained quickly. This leads to desiccation, resulting in production losses in agriculture and eutrophication of the groundwater and surface water.

Illustration of the draining process

About half the Netherlands consists of elevated sandy soils The Lumbricus research track examines measures, with the effects on entire river basins being considered in a comprehensive manner. The aim is to find solutions to discharge peaks and to prevent streams running dry. Dealing consciously with the soil is a crucial part of it; improving the fertility of the soil allows it to retain more water for a longer period of time. In a limited number of demonstration sites, Lumbricus links individual initiatives and innovations to the environment, paying attention to the economy, physical geography, hydrology and ecology. This leads to a climate-robust soil and a climate-robust water system. Parties contributing to the research in the experimental gardens include government authorities, knowledge institutes, universities, entrepreneurs and social groups.

Lumbricus consists of four interrelated sub-programmes:

  • Conscious Soil: the soil as the key to the water and nutrients supply to agriculture and nature. But also sustainable soil and water management for a healthy soil, under the influence of human use, the current and the future climate.
  • Welling Water: optimising the water management of a river basin. This involves all types of measures that impact on the local and regional groundwater and surface water system.
  • Fascinating Stream Valleys: optimal utilisation of natural processes, for the development and management of streams and stream valley lands.
  • Good Governance: governance questions that play a role in order to arrive at a climate-robust organisation of the soil and water system.

If you would like to know more about Lumbricus, please feel free to contact Peter van den Akker.