Rivers Are Life Premieres 'Portrait of a River' Re-Meandering the Netherlands' Dommel River

Today, Rivers are Life proudly premieres its newest film “Portrait of a River'' which brings us to the Dommel River in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This European journey takes us alongside Waterschap de Dommel, as they work to improve and regulate the water quality and shape of the Dommel River in an effort to support the booming economy in the area without affecting the surrounding landscape.

Connecting Eindhoven to Den Bosch, also known as “the smartest kilometer in the world,” the Dommel River neighbors a high-tech business ecosystem that is under development. Development has been recently halted due to strict EU environmental guidelines that are protecting the Dommel, freezing any further development in the area until biodiversity levels are met. 

Leading this charge, Waterschap De Dommel and its “Water Duke,” Erik de Ridder, work tirelessly to ensure that partners and stakeholders are collectively invested in the same goal — restoring the health of the river. Used as a trade route during Roman times and dramatically altered following World War II, the Dommel River was canalized to make the landscape larger in an effort to maximize food production following the hard times that came with the war. Now, Waterschap de Dommel is working to restore the river to its original beauty, removing these waterways and re-meandering the river to naturally regulate water flow and levels.

“Climate change is causing very specific problems, the risk of flooding is there, but also the risk of drought is there," said Erik de Ridder, Chairman of Waterschap De Dommel. “We used to straighten the Dommel but nowadays we are re-meandering again to make sure the Dommel and the water stays lower within our region.”

Most waterflow in Europe makes its way to The Netherlands, and with a portion of the country sitting below sea level, it is one of the lowest areas on the continent. As the Dommel helps carry the water from city to city, underground water meters have been installed for residents to be able to see the water quality in real time. This controlled effort from the team at Waterschap De Dommel will ensure that both the economy and local industries will thrive without sacrificing the health of the landscape.

“Portrait of a River” premieres May 7, 2024. Watch “Portrait of a River” HERE.

Source: Rivers are Life

About Rivers are Life

Rivers are Life is on a mission to raise awareness of the true force and fragility of our river systems while showcasing their interconnectedness with all of us, our planet's wildlife and the ocean waste problem.

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