BE SAFE: Bio-Engineering for Safety using vegetated foreshores

Promising Building with Nature (BwN) solutions for flood management, such as vegetated foreshores, inherently have a dynamic nature. Therefore there is a relatively large degree of uncertainty with respect to their contribution to flood protection. This hampers the implementation of vegetated foreshores in flood risk management in the Netherlands and abroad.

The objective of the BE SAFE project is to develop new methods to assess how and how much vegetated foreshores can contribute to flood risk reduction. Within the project, researchers in the fields of hydraulic engineering, ecology and governance collaborate to gain a better understanding of (uncertainties in) the long-term ecological, biogeomorphological, and hydraulic functioning and stability of these systems and effective implementation arrangements.

The team uses field observations on several sites and flume measurements to analyze fundamental ecological and physical processes for various types of wetland vegetation. The knowledge obtained will be applied in one implementation case study for a location in the Netherlands where dike reinforcement is required in the future. This case study integrates fundamental knowledge from all the disciplines. It is used to design governance and implementation arrangements, and to demonstrate how vegetated foreshores can contribute to flood risk reduction.

The project will provide the knowledge, methods and tools (e.g. a maptable) required for the design and implementation of vegetated foreshores as a safe, ecologically desirable, and cost-effective alternative in flood management.

The project involves researchers from TU Delft (PI), NIOZ, and the University of Twente.

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Published: 24th November 2015