Terra et Aqua: Forty Years of Progress in Dredging Industry (The Netherlands)
Forty years ago a group of professionals in the dredging industry launched Terra et Aqua. One hundred and twenty-five issues later, it is clear how far-sighted these people were. According to the first editor, Terra’s “aims are to disseminate information useful to the civil servant, politician or financial expert who is involved in local problems and bears responsibility for the decisions which have to be made….”
As much as the dredging industry has changed and grown – reflecting changes and growth in society – this 40th anniversary issue of Terra et Aqua demonstrates that its basic goal to increase understanding and knowledge has endured: Its editorial formula is as valid now as it was in 1971. Terra focuses on articles that reflect the vitality and progress of the dredging industry. It continues to provide valuable information to port authorities, government officials, consultants and stake-holders who are confronted with dredging and maritime construction projects.
One change in society over the years has been the development of rigorous environmental policies and these are front and centre in the articles in this 125th issue. An in-depth research paper describes the advances made in predicting environmental impacts during dredging through the state-of-the-art TASS modelling system. This innovative software increases the reliability when planning environmentally responsible dredging techniques. In addition, the position paper released by the Central Dredging Association (CEDA) on the effects of “underwater sound” expresses the attention of the dredging industry to protecting aquatic life and outlines a realistic approach to addressing this concern.
Looking at the financial side of dredging, two experts emphasise ways to limit the risks of price fluctuations during maritime construction projects. By taking into account the highs and lows of raw material costs, of wages and fuel through so-called “escalation clauses” in dredging contracts, both the contractor and the client will have a more transparent relationship and be more satisfied.
Finally on-the-job safety – which is for all companies an absolute priority – is highlighted with the annual IADC Safety Award describing a new approach to safe work practices which guarantees increasingly better safety outcomes.
All of these articles – on environment, financing and safety – reflect the key role that the dredging industry plays in shaping our world through port and harbour construction, river and channel maintenance, the defence of vulnerable coastlines and its crucial part in the offshore energy industry.
Dredging Today Staff, December 12, 2011; Image: terra-et-aqua