De Vlaamse Waterweg has just announced that the start of excavation works for a new flood channel Wijmeers is starting faster due to a midge infestation.
According to the officials, the first step is to excavate a first flood channel in the managed realignment site of Wijmeers.
Historic dredging works, in combination with sea level rise, result in an increase in tidal dynamics, which in turn could lead to an increase in suspended particle matter, the officials reported.
They also added that the excavated flood channel creates more space for the river, hence dispersing the tidal dynamics over the managed realignment site and locally decreasing the tidal range in the Scheldt.
This will enable the flood channel to remain sustainable through self-dredging and consequently rejuvenating the tidal area.
Larvae of the biting midge will also be flushed away by these increased dynamics, thus solving the current infestation at the same time.
The excavations will take several weeks and will be completed before the construction holiday in July.
During a second phase next year, a much bigger flood channel will be added to the managed realignment site of Wijmeers.