Crossing borders at the Grensmaas

Project: Research



Restoring rivers with an integrated approach that combines water safety, nature development and gravel mining remains a challenge. Also for the Grensmaas, the most southern trajectory of the Dutch main river Maas, that crosses the border with Belgium in the south of Limburg. The first plans (“Plan Ooievaar”) were already developed in the 1980s and were highly innovative and controversial, as they were based on the idea of using nature-based solutions combined with social-economic development. Severe floodings in 1993 and 1995 came as a shock and accelerated the process to implement the associated measures. To address the multifunctionality of the river, the Grensmaas consortium was set up by public and private parties (the largest public-private partnership ever formed in the Netherlands) to have an effective, scalable and socially accepted project. However, despite the shared long term vision and the further development of plans during the process it was hard to satisfy all the goals in the long run. While stakeholders agreed on the long-term goal, the path towards that goal remains disputed and depends on the perceived status quo and urgency of the problem. Moreover, internal and external pressures and disturbances like climate change or the economic crisis influenced perception and economic conditions of stakeholders differently. In this research we will identify relevant system-processes connected to the implementation of nature-based solutions through the lens of social-ecological resilience. This knowledge will be used to co-create management plans that effectively improve the long-term resilience of the Dutch main water systems.
Effectieve start/einddatum1/11/1931/10/23

Samenwerkende partners

  • Hanze (hoofd)
  • Wageningen University & Research


  • overstromingen
  • watermanagement
  • klimaatadaptatie


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