EcoShape, the foundation that carries out the public-private Building with Nature innovation program, said in their latest announcement that the preparations for the Clay Ripening pilot project are in full swing now.
“Yesterday we started digging the drainage trenches to remove excess water from the Delfzijl location,” said EcoShape.
Excessive levels of sediment in the Eems-Dollard area are having a negative impact on water quality and biodiversity. Large amounts of sediment accumulate in ports, making regular dredging necessary.
On the other hand, clay soil is needed in the area to strengthen dikes and to raise farmland.
According to EcoShape, collecting sediment from the Eems Dollard and converting it into clay soil creates a win-win situation: the water quality improves and there is more clay soil for reinforcing dikes and raising farmland.
The Hunze and Aa’s water authority will be using 70.000m³ of ripened clay to strengthen a one-kilometer section of dike in the ‘Broad Green Dike’ pilot project. This is a dike with a shallow slope covered by a relatively thick layer of clay and grass.
If the Clay Ripening pilot project is successful, the idea is to strengthen the remaining section of the dike (measuring about 11.5 kilometers) on the banks of the Dollard.
Rijkswaterstaat, the provincial authority of Groningen, Groningen Seaports, the Hunze and Aa’s water authority, nature conservation organisation Het Groninger Landschap and EcoShape have teamed up in the Clay Ripening pilot project to look at different ways of transforming sediment into clay soil.
EcoShape researchers are engaged in practical experiments to see which approach to ripening works best.