Over the last few years, the water quality of Belgian waterways has considerably improved. However, further efforts are still needed.
Eight Belgian partners have joined forces to improve the water quality in the catchments of the Zenne, Dyle and Demer rivers.
LIFE Belini is being carried out with the support of the the European Commission through the LIFE Integrated Projects programme. This is a financing programme for large-scale and strategic environmental projects. Through this programme, the project will receive approximately €9 million in subsidies.
What and why
The LIFE Belini project is being carried out within the boundaries of the international catchment area of the Scheldt river. The population density in this area is one of the highest in Europe. This puts the water system under great stress. The entire area is prone to flooding. Furthermore, the surface and ground water in this district is seriously influenced by industry, and nutrients and pesticides from intensive agriculture. This makes it difficult to achieve good water standards.
This project incorporates a large number of different measures that not only improve the water quality, but also contribute to improved biodiversity and limit the risk of flooding.
Goal of the project
The project is focused on the basins of the Zenne, Dyle and Demer rivers. These catchment areas are representative of the entire Scheldt district. All water management problems that are typical for the catchment area of the Scheldt are also present here: stress from the urban area, erosion, stress from the agricultural sector, hydro-morphological changes, flooding risks, groundwater contamination, etc.
A number of actions aim to reduce contamination from agriculture and consequently improve water quality. Other actions improve the hydro-morphological conditions and have a positive effect on the amount of water. Besides this, there are also actions that improve the natural water storage within the project area, which results in a reduced risk of flooding. All actions have a positive influence on biodiversity in the waterways.