At present too little use is made of the opportunities that the design and construction of land reclamation offer for the underground storage and recovery of fresh water. The managed aquifer recharge systems in the coastal dunes of the Netherlands are a good example of successful subsurface water storage. And it is to be expected that the sandy deposits of land reclamations could serve a similar purpose. This in turn will contribute to a sustainable development of land reclamations.
TNO’s acoustic surveys of dredgers during all phases of the dredging cycle showed that permanent hearing threshold shift was not exceeded in any cases studied or in any species in question.
To meet the demands of this massive extension, engineers had to think out of the box – utilising Pleistocene sand, recycling rock from an old block dam and inventing new equipment and survey systems.
Given the inter-dependence of the underwater food chain from benthic fauna and algae to shells, worms, fish and birds, a new modelling strategy was instituted to evaluate the effects of enhanced silt concentrations during dredging.
Compliance for permitting was not enough for the monitoring team at the Port of Rotterdam. When they discovered gaps in scientific knowledge, they initiated more research.
This complex mega infrastructure project demanded an imaginative approach from the start, resulting in a transparent Design Construct and Maintenance (DCM) contract.
Lessons learnt when planning the construction of the new Rotterdam port extension about the uncertainties of environmental effects on a Natura 2000 site may be applicable to other situations.