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ScaldWIN, towards good ecological water bodies

With the support of the European ScaldWIN project, VMM realised the re-meandering of the Marke river and set to work on the Herkenrode Abbey site. On both sites, work was focused on fish passability and ecological restoration of the watercourses.

Both on the Marke river and in Herkenrode, VMM carried out several works to restore the previously existing situation. On the Marke, at Moerbeke-Viane, ten old meanders were reconnected to the main watercourse. VMM re-excavated a number of these meanders and constructed flood dams so that the flow of water is not blocked Marke reconnectedfollowing heavy rainfall.  The automatic shutter weir at this point is now permanently kept down so that fish can freely migrate there. The old course of the Marke (the Oude Marke) was also reconnected to the Marke via a new connection.  VMM also built a V-shaped fish ladder around the shutter weir on the Marke in Galmaarden. As a result of these measures, the Marke is now accessible for migrating fish.

On the Herkenrode Abbey site in Hasselt, VMM and the Nature and Forest Agency (ANB) completed a major steam restoration project. VMM restored the connection from the Tuilterdemer to the Tuiltermolen, developed a new connection between the Demer and the Tuilterdemer, and constructed a fish ladder around the Tuiltermolen.  The renovated Tuilterdemer and the fish ladder create opportunities for fish Tuilterdemer Herkenrodemigration and for the population of species such as stone loach, common dace, pike, and burbot. In addition, fishponds were constructed and the canal system around the abbey site was upgraded.  At various locations new bridges were built or existing bridges modified to promote recreation (cycling and walking).


ScaldWIN: what and why?

Under the European ScaldWIN project, a number of cost-effective, innovative and transboundary actions are developed and implemented, including the resolution of fish migration barriers and the restoration of the natural flooding regime.  These measures thus help achieve a good status of surface and groundwater bodies.  The cross-border approach within the project ensures that the measures are better aligned and that partners can learn from each other's solutions. The monitoring of the effects of all these actions will result in a follow-up system for the Scheldt river basin.

The European Water Framework Directive in fact requires all water bodies to achieve good ecological status by 2015. The majority of transboundary water bodies within Scaldwin.euthe Scheldt international river basin district are at risk of failing to reach this target. Therefore, additional measures are needed.


Purpose of ScaldWIN

This project aims at finding the best available measures to improve surface water, sediments and groundwater

To reach this aim, five objectives were defined:

  1. improving the ecological status of surface water bodies based on river ecosystem development and biodiversity enhancement;
  2. improving the ecological status of surface water bodies based on sediment management;
  3. sustainable water resources management for groundwater bodies;
  4. assessing the implementation of the Water Framework Directive programmes of measures;
  5. raising public awareness.

The main actions consist of:

  1. the implementation and monitoring of transnational river ecosystem development measures and the elaboration of a transnational inventory on priority fish migration barriers;
  2. the transboundary monitoring of sediment loads;
  3. the construction of a sediment pond with transboundary monitoring and modelling of two groundwater systems as a basis.

ScaldWIN in Europe

Improving the status of transboundary waters and aquifers requires a cross-border approach.

The European ScaldWIN (INTERREG IVB NWE) project aims to improve the quality of surface water and groundwater bodies in the Scheldt international river basin district.interreg nweurope.eu

Type of project: INTERREG IVB North-West Europe

Duration: 1 January 2009 – 30 June 2015

Project partners


Flanders Environment agency (Lead Partner), Brussels environment (IBGE-BIM), Direction générale opérationnelle Agriculture, Resources Naturelles, Environnement (DGARNE)


Direction Régionale de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement Nord-Pas-de-Calais (DREAL), Lille Métropole Communauté Urbaine (LMCU)

The Netherlands           Waterschap Scheldestromen (WS), Provincie Zeeland, Nederlands Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu, DG Water

VMM contributes to the international policymaking and the implementation of environmental obligations.

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