Dry Delta

How to make Flanders a sponge again.
Moervaart depression | BE
Vlaamse Overheid, departement omgeving
2021 - 2023
design research
nomination for Henry van de Velde Awards 2024

Under the title ‘The Dry Delta – Spatial levers in the fight against water scarcity’, LABO RUIMTE launched a new research project in 2020 in which strategic locations for water storage are being determined and investigated. OMGEVING was selected to formulate (spatial) solutions to the prevailing drought problem in the case area the Moervaart depression through design research for phase two of the research project.

Due to its unique geomorphology and historical use, the border landscape of the State-Spanish lines forms a good basis for creating a freshwater line.The Moervaart depression, cover sand ridge and Zeeland creeks are uniquely connected by water.They are military water lines. Together, they form one freshwater line that ensures water security in times of a warming climate. Strategically located on one of the few freshwater bubbles present in East and Zeeland Flanders. The freshwater line stores the abundance of drainage water coming from the Moervaart depression and distributes it to water-scarce areas all year round. With relatively few interventions, the water delivery capacity can be strategically increased.

The cover sand ridge has foothills from Bruges to Hulst, which could further increase the potential of the freshwater line.Flanders and Zeeland can call on this ancient drift dune for their water needs. A potentially, gigantic freshwater bubble that not only has the potential to absorb drainage water, but also flood water from the Upper Scheldt basin.The exploration in this study deliberately shows no final picture, but water interventions that coincide with the climate escalating.In doing so, the importance of the cover sand ridge, the Moervaart depression and the creeks evolves from a local to a Flemish-Dutch task.