Minister unveils mega floodwater holding basin

Summary

Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege has announced the completion of a new basin that will stop floods from devastating the area between Hasselt and Diest

Basin will halt area’s catastrophic flooding

The Flemish Environment Agency has just completed one of the biggest floodwater holding basins to be constructed over the past decade. Located on the Herk river in Stevoort, a district of Hasselt, the new basin is designed to reduce the risk of flooding the region around the river Demer.

“This basin will not only provide additional protection to Stevoort but will also help to reduce the danger of flooding in the region between Hasselt and Diest,” said environment minister Joke Schauvliege.

This region of Flanders is a high risk of flooding due to the presence of the rivers Gete, Demer, Herk and Velpe. The district of Stevoort has been flooded several times in the past when the Herk burst its banks. Residents often criticised Hasselt city council for failing to take action, but the diggers finally turned up in 2010 to begin construction.

The new fully-automated basin, placed upstream from Stevoort to trap flood waters before they reach the village, holds 700,000 cubic metres of water. It can also retain sediment brought down by the floodwater to avoid the river silting up beyond Stevoort. 

This latest project means that Flanders now has 40 floodwater basins with a total capacity of 22 million cubic metres. Three million cubic metres were added over the past five years at a cost of €19 million.

Photo: Stevoort’s new floodwater basin should stop much of the flooding in the river-heavy Limburg region

Environment minister Joke Schauvliege announces completion of new mega floodwater holding basin.

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