Strategic change processes
Major maintenance works in the Ringvaart

Major maintenance works in the Ringvaart

The situation

Slush (including mud) on the bed of a ditch influences the quality and through-flow of the water. This means that the maintenance authorities responsible for the ditch are bound to remove the slush from time to time. This process is known as dredging. The Ringvaart (ring canal) in the area that is managed by the District Water Control Board of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard required dredging. Extra attention point: approximately 100 houseboats are moored along the Ringvaart and presented a major obstacle to the proposed work.

Our contribution

The District Water Control Board invited us to handle the project communication and to provide the project leader with recommendations. We initiated an active and intensive process with the owners of the houseboats. Most important angle: How would we limit the potential nuisance to a minimum? After having consulted the most important target group, we subsequently held two information evenings for all the parties concerned. An environment and stakeholder analysis yielded important input for the communication plan and enabled us to conduct tests and provide feedback in a more targeted way, as well as to manage expectations more effectively. One of the important decisions was to use so-called *geotubes, a technique that is not only energy and environmentally friendly, but also results in less nuisance for the direct interest groups.

The result

The dredging work was executed with a high level of satisfaction and the desired results (maintenance depth) were achieved everywhere. This meant that the Ringvaart was once again completely operational over a stretch of 13 kilometres. The use of geotubes and the intensive communication with the owners of the houseboats enabled the project owners to implement the project with almost zero resistance.

* Geotubes = Biodegradable flocculants are used in textile tubes to expedite the degradation of the slush. Once the slush has been dehydrated sufficiently, the geotubes are cut open and the textile removed. The ripened slush is then worked into the soil and seeded.