This measure is located near the village of Gravenvoeren in eastern Belgium. It was a low-cost project to retain mudstreams/erosion consequences by the building of a horizontal dyke/dams at the bottom in the valley, which will retain the water longer in the valley, so reducing runoff and sediment transport to the villages downstream. Additionally they changed crop growing from corn to grasslands to help reduce erosion.
The site is located in a rural location on the Horstregrub stream, upstream of the village of Gravenvoeren. It is located in the catchment of the River Voer, which is itself a tributary of the Meuse.
Prov. Limburg (BE)
Heather Williams and Chris Binje, AMEC
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
cool temperate moist
Mean rainfall unit
Case Study Info
Light or indepth?
Average slope range
Monitoring impacts effects
Performance impact estimation method
Performance impact estimation information
Design & implementations
Design capacity description
Design capacity of the retention pond is 6.000 m3.
There are no specific constraints to the application of this measure type, which is a simple method of runoff capture
The land cover was changed from seasonal crop rotation to grasslands under an agreement between the farmer and the local community.
Design contractual arrangement
Design consultation activity
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Design land use change
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Lessons, risks, implications...
Low-cost measures can make a significant local improvement to runoff and sediment load problems.
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Past flooding events
Past flooding events have occurred in the village of Gravenvoeren
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Policy, general governance and design targets
In the area of the project a lot of erosion happens during heavy rainfall events. As there is no natural stream or other way of transporting rainwater away, surface runoff occurs over the area, causing mudstreams or floodings in the village downstream. Measures to prevent this from occurring were therefore needed.
Part of wider plan
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Policy wider plan
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Aquadra had as a purpose to strive for clean water conditions across regional and national borders. Partners in the project included the Dutch and Belgians provinces of Limburg, province of Liege, regional water authorities from these 3 provinces and the German city of Aachen.
Policy requirement directive
Compensations scheme information
Some compensation was agreed with the landowner to change the landuse to pasture
Information on Ecosystem improved biodiversity
The landuse upstream has been changed from crops to grassland, which allows an increase in diversity compared to the previous land use
Information on Ecosystem provisioning services
Ecosystem impact climate regulation
Not relevant for the specific application
Information on Ecosystem impact climate regulation
Information on retained water
6000 m3 total storage volume
Information on increased water storage
6000 m3 total storage volume, compared to zero previously
Ecosystem erosion control
Information on Ecosystem erosion control
Slows runoff, allowing sediment deposition and reducing the risk of further erosion downstream
Water quality overall improvements
Positive impact-WQ improvement
Information on Water quality overall improvements
Reduction in transfer of sediment and associated nutrients or other pollutants downstream, by allowing sediment deposition in the storage area
Information on Ecosystem erosion control impact
Soil quality overall soil improvements
Positive impact-SQ improvement
Information on Soil quality overall soil improvements
The Voeren area is an area with significant erosion problems, causing mudstreams in the center of the village of Gravenvoeren. As a result of this NWRM, less good quality soil will be eroded and transported downstream.