EU Floods Directive
Executive Summary
Innovation & Outcomes
Management Structure
Project Team
Project Vision
Useful links
Work Programme & Pilot Studies
Update my details  
Password Retrieval  
Innovation & Outcomes
News & Publications
Newsletters and Publications
Meetings and Events
Meetings and Events
River Schelde Estuary


New On This Site
Sign up for Public Newsletter
Partner Area Login
The Project
Publications & Guidance

Where is the Pilot Site? Back to top

The Schelde pilot site is located near the southwestern border of the Netherlands and Belgium and covers the tidally influenced part of the Schelde River. The Dutch part of the river is called ‘Westerschelde’ and is a typical estuary with multiple river branches and intertidal mud flats. In Belgium the tide is felt many kilometers upstream as far as the village of Rupelmonde. This part of the river is called the Zeeschelde.

Dike breach and flooding in the 1953 disaster
Why was this site chosen? Back to top

This pilot site is a classic example of flood management for an estuary along which many people live and work, with a valuable natural environment and navigation demands. In recent years discussions and studies have been going on both in the Netherlands and in Belgium with respect to the perceived risk of flooding, especially in view of the changing external conditions (such as sea level rise) and increasing value of assets under threat (for example expansion of urban and industrial areas).

Both the Dutch and Belgian governments have been working on an improved understanding of the risk through a number of studies. In Zeeuws Vlaanderen a pilot study was undertaken under the Veiligheid Nederland in Kaart project of Rijkswaterstaat.  In Belgium the updated Sigmaplan has just been ratified by Parliament. Simultaneously, the ProSes project is studying the opportunities and consequences of increased navigability of the Westerschelde, with due attention to safety and the natural environment.

Who is involved in the study? Back to top

The study involves regional management authorities, such as Rijkswaterstaat and the waterboard as well as the ProSes group coordinating the deepening of the navigation channel in the Westerschelde. In addition to these groups, local inhabitants along the Schelde have been interviewed and participate in workshops.

Village of Doel Schelde Pilot Study Area The Zeeschelde near Antwerp.
Village of Doel near the
nuclear power plant.
Map of the pilot study area The Zeeschelde near Antwerp.

What is the study for? Back to top

The pilot study will be used as a field test site for many other tasks within the FLOODsite project. For instance, flood models will be developed for the Westerschelde and used in combination with a scenario study to provide a forecast of flood risk in 2050.  Also a decision support tool for evacuation will be developed for the polders (areas of reclaimed land that were once part of the sea bed) adjacent to the Schelde.  Alongside these “scientific” research activities, a further study is being carried out into the perception of risk by local inhabitants compared to that of flood risk “professionals”. It will be interesting to see whether there are any significant differences.

How will the study benefit the people of the Schelde Estuary? Back to top

Improved forecasting of flood risk and the development of new or improved evacuation measures will help to reduce risks to people and property in the area of the estuary.

It is hoped that the study will generate a better understanding between professionals and lay people with regard to flood risk. This is of great value, because when it comes to awareness, preparedness and acceptance of flood management measures both parties need each other. The study will probably reveal differences in perception and hopefully also identify possible reasons for these differences.  This knowledge will help to improve communication between flood managers and inhabitants of the Schelde Estuary.

Where to find more information Back to top

Further details of this study can be found here.

back top


6th Framework Programme of the European Commision
Junior FLOODsite  
Post Graduate Studies  
  Visual Material Library  
Contract No: GOCE-CT-2004-505420 © 2009, Members of the FLOODsite Consortium. Acknowledgements & Disclaimer | Contact us| Sitemap
Modelling Facility  
Knowledge Map  
Project Brochures & Posters  
Guidance Documents  
All Documents  
Task Outcomes  
Pilot Studies  
Useful Links  
The Project  
  Publications and Guidance