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Climate Changing? Meuse Adapting!

News related to action

Tuesday, december 1 2009

News from the nv De Scheepvaart

The nv De Scheepvaart (AMICE partner 9) launched a press release on the planned pumps on the Albert Canal. One of these pumps, the one on the lock at Ham is part of AMICE.The Albert Canal and the Campine Canals are fed with water from the river Meuse...

Thursday, september 27 2012

Site visit Lock of Ham, September 27th

We bet you never saw Archimedes screws 2 meters across! This is the moment, as they soon will disappear into the sluice and not be visible anymore. In dry periods the water used at every lockage can be pumped up and be used and re-used again and agai...

Attached documents

pdf Maeghe


pdf Binnenvaart56

doc invitation

Albert Kanaal, Lock of Ham

Pumping installation and water power plant on the lock of Ham (Albert Canal).

  1. Designing of the installation.
  2. The Albert Canal is of international importance for inland navigation (connected to major EU waterways), drinking water, process water for industry, power production & irrigation. It extracts water from the Meuse in Liege.

    The discharge is usually enough for all uses but the Meuse is a rain-fed river & the flow can be too low during droughts: below 60 m³/s. The average flow in the Albert Canal is 25 m³/s (>41% of the lower flow). Climate change may also worsen low-flows & their frequency. Measures are needed to reduce water needs in the system & guarantee a higher minimum flow. Benefits will be visible in Flanders, Wallonia & mainly in the Netherlands.

    Research has shown that pumping stations on the Albert Canal are the most suitable solution. The Lock of Ham has the largest water consumption. A pump could reduce the discharge from 25 to 10m³/s. The pumping capacity will be based on the actual & future navigation intensity, climate change & water needs for other functions.

    The pump will be designed to work in reverse as a hydroelectric power station when water is plentiful. The large fall (10 m) can produce green electricity for about 2000 inhabitants and contribute to the production of renewable energy (Kyoto objectives).

    The Albert Canal is also a main migration route for fish populations: scientific research has shown that more than 60% of the salmon of the Meuse migrates downstream via the Canal, instead of the river itself. The impact of the pump/water power station on fish population will be important in the design of the installation: it has to be a fish-friendly type to avoid high mortality percentages. A monitoring will be set-up once the pump is functional (not within AMICE). During the design and building of the pump/water power plant, a great degree of attention will be given to its ecological aspects.

  3. Exchange of experience and raising public awareness on the low-flow issue.

    During the building phase of the pumping installation & water power station, an international event for exchange of experiences dealing with handling the low water problem in the Meuse basin will be organised. All AMICE Partners, and other international stakeholders, will be invited to that event. A site visit of the project will be included (see Action 12).

    In the upstream parts of the Meuse basin, potential locations exist for the production of green electricity from waterpower.

    The problem of a lack of water to fulfil all water needs during low water periods exists also in the downstream parts of the Meuse basin. Transfer of knowledge and experiences to these sites will be of major interest.

    The data and results from the fish migration monitoring campaign will be communicated to all Partners so that they can use the information when undertaking their own similar projects.

    The project contributes to raising public awareness on the value of water, its various functions and how to deal with low waters in relation to climate change. Information panels will be provided at the pumping station and water power plant. Electronic screens with an indication of the amount of produced green electricity will be installed for the benefit of local citizens and tourists (the Albert Canal is an intensively used cycle track and the Lock of Ham a popular resting place).

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