New Research Project: WOODY

News - 01 May 2019 - Webmaster Hydraulic Engineering

Vegetation along dikes can help to reduce flood risk. In the Netherlands, the forests on river flood plains reduce wave forces on dikes. In the tropics mangrove forests fulfil a similar function. With the foresight of higher water levels due to climate-change, the Netherlands needs to upgrade their dikes in the coming decades. Using woody wetland vegetation as integral part of our flood defence may significantly reduce the investments needed. However, at this moment we lack the tools to reliably predict the flood-defence value of woody wetlands. Moreover, we do not yet know if the nature-quality goals are compatible with flood-defence goals. In this project we aim to resolve these questions, by developing tools to: quantify the flood-defence contribution of woody wetlands, provide fundamental insight on the trade-off between nature-quality and flood-defence, and translate this knowledge into guidelines. We will use techniques ranging from experiments with real-scale super-storm waves on willow trees, to ecological fieldwork.

The project will be led by dr. ir. B. Hofland.

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