Nature-based solutions for river resilience: The ResiRiver project launch

Published on: 6 November 2023 - Latest update: 6 November 2023, 15:38

Launched on 27 October 2023, the ResiRiver project aims to integrate nature-based resilience into the fabric of river systems in anticipation of future climate challenges. Rijkswaterstaat is the lead partner of the consortium in which France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands are pooling their expertise.

Funded by Interreg North-West Europe, these nations are on a joint mission to answer the pressing question: How can we naturally strengthen our rivers to meet future climate challenges?

Each organisation in this partnership is making a unique contribution, with a particular focus on gathering, developing and sharing knowledge. The project includes 13 pilot projects across Europe, exploring a range of approaches to water retention, flood mitigation and ecological restoration.

These efforts will be complemented by the development of predictive models and a digital platform dedicated to the promotion of nature-based methods in river management.

Promoting international collaboration for river resilience through ResiRiver

To officially launch this initiative, Rijkswaterstaat gathered with the consortium partners in Lent, near Nijmegen. Participants were treated to an in-depth look at Rijkswaterstaat’s pilot projects sites, the Millingerwaard and Spiegelwaal flood channels. This hands-on experience shed light on how to integrate nature conservation, recreational development and the strengthening of the Rhine’s resilience.

Monique Busnach, Head of Flood Protection at Rijkswaterstaat, explained the essence of the project in an engaging introductory film, followed by a compelling narrative that championed the transformative power of collaborative innovation. ‘This project goes beyond creating resilient rivers. It is also about building bridges between different and disciplines so we can join forces to meet future challenges.’

Towards a climate-proof future

The collaborative spirit of the ResiRiver team was evident throughout the event. Engaging discussions during the mini-pitches provided a platform for sharing valuable insights from the different pilot projects. Dave Crane from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, inspired by his interactions with TU Delft and Rijkswaterstaat, stressed the need for such collaborative platforms and issued a call to action for greater collective efforts.

This will be music to the ears of many. Indeed, ResiRiver symbolises a collective step towards a sustainable climate strategy. For those intrigued by the project or looking to get involved, the ResiRiver website serves as a portal to further information and connections.