Main waterway network
Smooth and safe transport by water and reliable and useful information. Those are Rijkswaterstaat’s aims on the main waterway network. The Netherlands has one of the busiest waterway networks in the world. Goods transport and storage are important economic drivers and recreational sailing is growing. So there is every reason to actively manage, maintain and develop the waterways with our partners.
Management and maintenance
Management and maintenance, construction, and traffic management are the three pillars of Rijkswaterstaat’s operations on the main waterways. Management and maintenance has the highest priority. The waterways must always be passable and safe, and journey times by water must be reliable. For the design of waterway sections, locks, bridges and inland harbours the Waterway Guidelines 2011 are available (see Downloads).
Rijkswaterstaat is also responsible for the construction and improvement of existing waterways, harbours and moorings.
The National Vessel Traffic Management Centre (SVC) manages shipping smoothly, safely and uniformly for all waterway users. It works together with the regional departments.Via our website and the annual Spiegeldag, professional and recreational sailors tell us what they want. At the request of the industry organisation and inland shipping sector, we use lock stewards during the summer. We also introduced remote operation at a number of locks. To manage traffic on the waterways Rijkswaterstaat again took into consideration of the industry’s wishes wherever possible. We actively sought cooperation with users, private parties and other stakeholders.
Rijkswaterstaat also cooperates across borders. Our waterways have to have good connections with the waterway networks of Germany and Belgium. We work with these countries to improve the infrastructure, shipping and safety.
In the north of the Netherlands, we are working intensively with Germany within the Eems Committee. Cooperation has also started in the Nieuwe Hanze region. In the east of the Netherlands, there is frequent consultation with Germany regarding the Rhine corridor. In the south, Rijkswaterstaat works with Belgium within the Western Scheldt Committee. Talks are being held on improving the Ghent-Terneuzen corridor.
With Germany, Belgium and other European countries, we are working on the international implementation of RIS (River Information Services). International agreements are being made in the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine on safety and the use of the Rhine.