Balance Island Concept in Bangladesh and Vietnam

The Balance Island concept – developed by Grontmij, Imares and Waterachitect – will be taken to Southeast Asia to determine if it offers an effective solution to the salinization of drinking water and agricultural land in the river deltas of Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The concept was developed two years ago specifically for the mouth of the Haringvliet, the Netherlands. The idea behind the concept was to further extend existing shallows through sand suppletion.

This creates a natural barrier (Balance Island) that channels salt water along pre-determined channels. In turn, this creates a unique tidal area that restricts salt-water penetration.

The key advantage about Balance Island is that it makes use of the delta’s own dynamics and strengthens the natural values, while at the same time offering solutions that make the delta area more inhabitable for people.

Now, a team of Imares Wageningen UR, Deltares, Grontmij and Water Architect are conducting an international feasibility study to determine if this solution can be applied in the river deltas of Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The project partners will carry out the study in close collaboration with existing initiatives, local research institutes and policy makers.

The project is divided into two phases. By the end of this summer, a quick scan will be conducted to examine what generic factors affect the feasibility of the concept and what opportunities there are for the realization of Balance Island in Vietnam and Bangladesh. Afterwards, the feasibility of one of the two deltas will be worked out in more detail.