Dieren in de Dijk

Startdatum1 februari 2024
Einddatum31 januari 2026
  • Bètatechniek
  • Duurzame landbouw-, water- en voedselvoorziening

‘Dieren in de dijk’ aims to address the issue of animal burrows in earthen levees, which compromise the integrity of flood protection systems in low-lying areas. Earthen levees attract animals that dig tunnels and cause damages, yet there is limited scientific knowledge on the extent of the problem and effective approaches to mitigate the risk. Recent experimental research has demonstrated the severe impact of animal burrows on levee safety, raising concerns among levee management authorities. The consortium's ambition is to provide levee managers with validated action perspectives for managing animal burrows, transitioning from a reactive to a proactive risk-based management approach.
The objectives of the project include improving failure probability estimation in levee sections with animal burrows and enhancing risk mitigation capacity. This involves understanding animal behavior and failure processes, reviewing existing and testing new deterrence, detection, and monitoring approaches, and offering action perspectives for levee managers. Results will be integrated into an open-access wiki-platform for guidance of professionals and in education of the next generation.
The project's methodology involves focus groups to review the state-of-the-art and set the scene for subsequent steps, fact-finding fieldwork to develop and evaluate risk reduction measures, modeling failure processes, and processing diverse quantitative and qualitative data. Progress workshops and collaboration with stakeholders will ensure relevant and supported solutions.
By addressing the knowledge gaps and providing practical guidance, the project aims to enable levee managers to effectively manage animal burrows in levees, both during routine maintenance and high-water emergencies. With the increasing frequency of high river discharges and storm surges due to climate change, early detection and repair of animal burrows become even more crucial. The project's outcomes will contribute to a long-term vision of proactive risk-based management for levees, safeguarding the Netherlands and Belgium against flood risks.


HZ University of Applied Sciences

Marlies van Eenennaam, contactpersoon
Telefoon: 0118-489207


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