Depoldering of the Hedwige- and Prosperpolder offers a unique opportunity for a 6 km2 Living Lab at an operational levee, where innovative techniques, processes and products are tested for practical validation. First series of field experiments such as overflow tests have been performed in Winter and Spring 2021. Also, several emergency response exercises involving partners and observers were conducted. Innovative repair measures such as rock bags have been tested. A dedicated research and exercise program has been developed to be executed in the upcoming period.
To share results, we develop and offer a knowledge platform and expertise exchange. Basic versions of a Data wizard and Dijk Data Service Centre including research result so far are already available for project partners. Development and successful demonstration of the inspection instrument App2C has already interested organisations to further develop the app for broader use amongst professionals and the general public.
Both the results of the research programme as well as the joint exercises will support the development of flood resilience strategies, to be embedded in organizational and operational plans of stakeholders. Successful cooperation between national and regional authorities, universities and business has been established. We already brought together military and civil emergency organisations for joint working on emergency response. Action plans for prolonged collaboration are in preparation.
Key feature of the Living Lab is also to educate the next generation Water Managers. We contribute to academic curriculae and several Master and PhD students are actively working in the living lab on subjects concerning levee safety and emergency response. Furthermore, we educate and train young water professionals by involving them in field experiments and exercises. The first Winterschool for young water professionals and a Levee Challenge for student teams were great successes.
Source: Wetenholt, L. 2021. Living Lab Hedwige - Prosperpolder, a unique opportunity to develop flood resilience. Managing ecological and climate risk, Risk & Resilience. AIWW 2021.