Report from partners' meeting in Utrecht

From Monday 7th until Wednesday 9th of October, Rijkswaterstaat had the honour of organising the Green WIN partners' meeting at their head office in Utrecht (NL).

On Monday the partners were joined by Madara Rancāne, the project officer. As our point of contact with the Interreg North West Europe (NWE) office, she was present to find out how the project is progressing and the partners are doing so far.

During the first day, every partner got a chance to provide an update about their activities. For example, Canal and River Trust, Waterways Ireland and Voies Navigables de France each gave a brief summary about the testing done by the consultants from Arcadis at their trial sites. Afterwards, Arcadis presented their overall initial findings and conclusions. VLM and Rijkswaterstaat reported on the progress for the deliverables for which they are responsible.

On the morning of day 2, the partners were split between two workshops. The first one was dedicated to the work package focusing on  “Improving existing systems and processes”(in which mainly the design of the test bench in the laboratory of the university of Liege was discussed). The second workshop was dedicated to the work package about “Evaluating current market and setting the basis for rolling out improvements identified in Green WIN”.

In the afternoon, these were followed by site visits at the pumping stations and the lock of Eefde.

There are several pumps at Eefde, of which one pumping station was recently renovated. The four operational pumps (2 in every pumping station) are now operated electrically, so there is now no direct CO2 emission when the pumps are operated. The capacity of the pumps has also been increased in anticipation of the expected water usage in the near future.

The lock in Eefde connects the river IJssel with the Twente Canal. The lock of Eefde is under construction. To improve accessibility of the region Twente and to simultaneously boost the economy, a second lock chamber will be built. The new construction will be energy-neutral with solar panels integrated into the design. Considering the connection both sites had with the theme of energy and CO2 emissions reduction, it was a very inspirational visit for the Green WIN team.

And on the final day, all other aspects of the project were discussed, such as communication, finance and general project management. The next partner meeting will be hosted by Waterways Ireland in Ireland. The exact date will be announced later on.

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