Contractors Unlimited

Mott MacDonald Appointed on Room for the River Projects in the Netherlands

Mott MacDonald Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Rijkswaterstaat to provide technical and spatial management for two Room for the River projects in the Rhine river basin in the Netherlands. Mott MacDonald will manage all technical studies and stakeholder engagement.

Both projects are part of the Room for the River programme which was developed by the Dutch Government to face the challenge of increasing rates of water flow created by climate changes. It is hoped that by 2015, the programme will help protect the lives and homes of the four million riverside inhabitants.

The programme covers all major Rhine branches in the Netherlands. As well as increasing protection against floods, the spatial quality of the entire riverside is to be enhanced, allowing more space for nature development (large parts of the area are included in the national ecological network) and for nature and water related recreation. Mott MacDonald has been appointed as technical manager for floodplain works along the River Rhine Meinerswijk project in Arnhem and as spatial manager for floodplain works along the River IJssel.

As technical manager, Mott MacDonald will manage the selection of a preferred technical solution for a decrease of the water level in the main river. This will involve the commission of technical studies which will comprise hydraulic and hydro morphological models, hydrogeology, underground infrastructure and ecology. It will also include the mapping and eventual removal of remaining undetonated explosives from the Second World War.

The IJssel project is being developed to lower the summer bed of the river valley and floodplain with the aim of lowering the maximum water levels of the river during peak flows. As spatial manager, Mott MacDonald is responsible for stakeholder engagement. The consultancy will also carry out an environmental impact assessment.

Ido Croese, Mott MacDonald's project director said:

"This programme introduces a paradigm change. The new approach to increase the resilience of the main river system works with nature rather than against it. Besides increasing protection against water, the spatial quality of the entire riverside landscape is enhanced. Nature, recreation and sustainable development opportunities are optimised hand in hand with the protection of lives and properties."

Ido continued: "We are delighted to be appointed on this important project for the country. This win marks Mott MacDonald's first major water project in the Netherlands. Mott MacDonald has a wealth of experience in working on world class water projects around the world and we look forward to demonstrating our world class skills."

Mott MacDonald's £1 billion business spans 120 countries with over 14,000 staff working in all sectors from transport, energy, buildings, water and the environment to health and education, industry and communications.

Published 13/09/2010

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