On behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works, the Environment and Transport Inspectorate is the competent authority for temporary groundwater extraction at the new sea locks at IJmuiden and Terneuzen. Witteveen+Bos provides the Environment and Transport Inspectorate with geohydrological support for assessing the applications.
Our work for each lock comprises a complete substantive assessment of the application to extract groundwater temporarily so as to carry out the work dry. Our result is an advisory to the competent authority on whether the application is admissible, and we draw up a proposal for the permit requirements, including monitoring.
Given the nature and scope of the work, we also provided substantive expertise for both locks during the preliminary consultation process with the initiator, Rijkswaterstaat, and the water boards concerned. The groundwater models used were assessed during these preliminary consultations. For the Terneuzen lock, specific attention was devoted to checking the groundwater model through both the results of several pumping tests performed, and a recalculation of the drainage of the west and east locks that was conducted in the 1970s and which impacted buildings in Terneuzen.
During these projects, we applied our extensive knowledge of civil geohydrology, groundwater modelling and the risk assessment for derived effects such as settlements, desiccation, heat and cold storage, fresh-saline interface and groundwater pollution. Our EIA specialists were part of the project team for evaluating the submitted EIA assessment notes.
The application procedures proceeded quickly, and no views were submitted.