Start of construction of Nieuwe Waterwerken Zoutkamp

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On Friday 17 February, the construction agreement for the completion of new water management facilities in Zoutkamp was signed by Noorderzijlvest Water Authority (NZV), the province of Groningen and Strukton. The Nieuwe Waterwerken Zoutkamp project includes the construction of a new pumping station in Zoutkamp and the renovation of the Hunsingo lock.

The risk of flooding and water shortage in the northern provinces is increasing as climate change accelerates. As part of the ‘Droge Voeten 2050’ project, research has been carried out since 2010 into the measures the northern provinces and water authorities need to take to prevent flooding. The Nieuwe Waterwerken Zoutkamp project forms part of that programme.

In 2019 and 2020, Witteveen+Bos carried out a feasibility study of the new water management facilities on behalf of NZV. This study resulted in a positive recommendation to realise a new pumping station in the former sea wall and to renovate the Hunsingo lock, a characteristic, national heritage site. From 2021, as part of the construction team, Witteveen+Bos collaborated with NZV, the province of Groningen, Strukton and Nepocon to draw up the final design for the lock and the pumping station. With the board’s signature on 17 February 2023, NZV has made the necessary funds available for the team partners to proceed to the implementation phase.  

The project also presents a number of associated opportunities. In addition to water safety, work is also being done to improve road safety and the project aims to boost the economy (tourism), quality of life and ecology of Zoutkamp and the surrounding area. As part of the Nieuwe Waterwerken Zoutkamp project, a new pumping station with a pumping capacity of 1,600 m³ per minute will be constructed. The new pumping station will be combined with the Hunsingo lock. This will replace the existing H.D. Louwes pumping station, which will then be demolished. The Hunsingo lock dating from 1857 is being renovated and will regain its original sluice function, including a movable pedestrian bridge. The work will start this spring. Nieuwe Waterwerken Zoutkamp should be completed by the end of 2025. 

The Witteveen+Bos design contributes to keeping the water level in the Groningen water catchment basin safe and manageable, as well as towards our ‘Engineering for Climate and Biodiversity’ focal point and our sustainable ‘social design’ principle.

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