Salt intrusion into fresh water

News - 08 November 2019 - Webredactie

Julie Pietrzak (professor Physical Oceanography) will be leading a new research programme SALTISolutions. Within SALTI, researcher, together with companies will produce a virtual model to predict how, where, when, and how long salt from seawater will penetrate, and how measures such as implementing nature-based solutions influence the freshwater supply. The programme is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NOW) as  part of its ‘Perspective for Top Sectors' funding programme which has a budget of 26 million euros. The approved projects were announced today. TU Delft is involved in four of the five programmes which have been approved.

Guaranteeing freshwater with a virtual delta

SALTISolutions – Salt intrusion through urbanizing deltas: Solutions


Freshwater is vital for drinking water, nature, agriculture and industry. However, the availability of freshwater is under pressure in deltas throughout the world. Salty seawater is penetrating further up the rivers due to human intervention, such as the deepening of waterways, as equally climate change. Within SALTISolutions, the researchers, together with the partners involved such as Rijkswaterstaat, water boards, port authorities and dredging companies, will produce a virtual model (digital twin) of the Rhine-Meuse Delta. This model will integrate knowledge about processes on various spatial and time scales: from turbulent flows at the smallest scale level to the consequences of climate change in the long-term. They will use this to predict how, where, when, and how long salt from seawater will penetrate, and how measures such as implementing nature-based solutions influence the freshwater supply. These insights will be tested worldwide, as a result of which the position of Dutch delta technology will be further strengthened.

Programme leader: Prof. J.D. Pietrzak (TU Delft)
Participants: Arcadis, ARK, Boskalis, Bureau Waardenburg, BAM, Deltares, Evides, Flanders Hydraulics, Port of Amsterdam, Port of Rotterdam, HKV, Rijnland District Water Control Board, Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard Regional Water Authority, Hydrologic, Royal NIOZ, Nortek-NL, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat, Royal HaskoningDHV, STOWA, Svasek Hydraulics, TU Delft, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Twente, Utrecht University, Van Oord, VEMW, VEWIN, Wageningen University, Waterschap Hollandse Delta, WNF

About Perspectief

Perspectief is a programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. These research programmes challenge scientists to closely work together with businesses and civil-society organisations on new lines of research that impact the economy and society.

More information

Press release NWO