Vlijmen-Den Bosch natural climate buffer
Several residential areas in the cities of Den Bosch and Vlijmen were prone to flooding as a result of high water levels in the river Meuse and peak discharge volumes in the rivers Aa and Dommel. In 2012, this prompted the construction of a water storage area between the cities of Den Bosch, Heusden, and Vlijmen. This Vlijmen-Den Bosch climate buffer was completed in 2016.
What was the goal of the project?
The climate buffer formed part of the comprehensive Den Bosch Flood Protection project, for which 750 hectares of farmland, nature reserves, and recreational areas west of Den Bosch were linked together. The goal was to have the area provide water storage. An additional goal was to create an ecological connection between the “Moerputten” and “Sompen and Zooislagen” nature reserves. Furthermore, the parties intended to enhance the area’s appeal to visitors.
What measures have been taken?
The following measures have been implemented to create water storage options in the area:
- Wide ditches have been constructed in the Biessert polder, inspired by the former appearance of the polder. The goal was to enhance the landscape from a cultural-historical perspective. Furthermore, the ditches extend rainwater and seepage water retention in the Biessert polder;
- A culvert and a bar have been constructed in the Biessert watercourse in the purview of directing the water flow. In the event of torrential rain, the polder can now serve as a water buffer;
- Paths, a pedestrian bridge, and an information panel have been constructed. A work of art – consisting of a wall of old Meuse boulders depicting the course of the river Meuse – serves as a landmark and helps to stop cattle;
- A pool has been constructed and a link has been created between the existing fishpond and the Biessert polder, providing an ecological south-north connection in the polder. Furthermore, the water level has been raised.
What are the results?
The main result of the project is that the area between Den Bosch, Heusden, and Vlijmen is now capable of collecting water during extreme precipitation occurring once every 75 to 100 years. Since water is not only collected but also retained, the area will additionally help to combat dehydration. The ecological connection, the banks and pools, and agricultural nature management are enhancing the natural environment. Furthermore, the measures have improved water quality and increased the appeal of the area to visitors.
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