Success and limiting factors:
Important success factors included the acknowledgement of ecological values and the attention to the development of a collaborative process in which all stakeholders were seriously engaged. As to the former, two ecological factors played a key role: the structural possibility to protect natural values in the Meuse valley by limiting extraction of Meuse water and maintain a sufficiently high run-off level, and the consideration of the fish stocks in the Albert Canal. As to the latter, the process of developing of the measures has shown that in order to arrive at broad support research is needed, but also sufficient time for the stakeholders to cooperate, share knowledge, understand each other and get to know and respect each other’s culture. Imposing solutions or taking insufficient time would have limited success. One of the main factors of success to collaborate was the awareness of the inadequacy of current solutions and projected worsening of the situation in terms of frequency and length of low water levels.
Budget, funding and additional benefits:
The cost of the installation of the screws is about 7M€ for each lock system. The benefits include the navigability of the canal under changed climatic conditions, the reliability of the canal for shipping also enabling of fish migration, and the generation of electricity. Green electricity (hydropower) for an equivalent of 1000 families will be produced by each set of screw pumps. On the basis of hydrological analysis, including climate change, it is expected that the installation will function as power generator for about 10 months per year and pump up water for about one month, with one month stand-still in situations of just sufficient run-off for shipping but insufficient for power generation. On an annual basis much more energy will be generated than used, the precise annual power generated depending on the amount and spread of precipitation over the year, the evolution of shipping intensity and the withdrawals of other water users. There are also biodiversity benefits. Because of the relatively high water quality rich fish stocks exist in the Canal. Advanced technologies used for the pumping installations and power generation minimizes the impacts of the installations on the fish stocks.