amice logo


Climate Changing? Meuse Adapting!

Globaal project

AMICE: what is it about?

‘AMICE’ means ‘friend’ in Italian and the project is all about friendship:

AMICE is all about making friends with the Meuse and helping the river to adjust to climate change. We want the Meuse to become the very best example of a climate-proof river but one that keeps its natural beauty.

AMICE is also about the people who live along the 950 km length of the Meuse and its tributaries. It means building strong relationships between the 17 partner organisations and all Meuse-lovers in the catchment - from where it rises in France to its mouth in The Netherlands via Belgium and a part of Germany. It is a dream, but with commitment and enthusiasm, it can come true.

In the future there will be more floods and more droughts. Whatever we do now, we cannot stop climate–change. Adaptation to changing circumstances is a necessity - but we can choose how we take action. AMICE gives us the opportunity to test all the options and build them into one overall strategy. The river is bound to respond in ways we know but we are also anticipating some surprises.

Increasing our knowledge base is the key to success. If we want to help the Meuse adapt we must know everything about the river and how the local climate will change. We need to review all the existing literature, test climate models, quantify the impacts of different factors and prepare good land-use maps. Using reliable climate scenarios and the shared skills of the scientists in the catchment, this international study will help us generate a better understanding of how the Meuse will respond in the future.

Water is the 21st century’s essential resource. We must hold onto it and handle it with care! Improvements in ‘natural water retention’ can often be achieved through low impact, small-scale land-use changes. In AMICE, we are already investigating in three places how water can be held back more naturally where there are different land-use and population characteristics. This experience will help us to develop a more natural Meuse river basin.

There are many flood-water management constructions operating already in the Meuse river basin and more are planned. Herein lie some big challenges. How to design new water management structures that are able to deal comprehensively with flooding, drought and increasing water demand. How to adapt existing flood control measures to cope with ever more extreme events. Through AMICE, new approaches to these challenges are being tested by three highly innovative projects in Germany, Flanders and the Netherlands.

However, construction projects alone are insufficient to cope with some extreme water events. AMICE wants to improve how water managers and the rescue services anticipate and react to flood events. With the help of interactive software and the experience of AMICE Partners, flood crisis management can be improved and this will ultimately be tested through a transnational, flood-risk management exercise.

Change will also be achieved through awareness-raising - through newsletters, information packs, posters, leaflets and websites. Site visits to the different pilot projects will be arranged for local authorities and other participants. International events will provide an opportunity to disseminate the results of AMICE’s achievements further afield. Best of all will be an AMICE film that will tell the full story of how the Meuse basin is responding to climate-change.