Running from 2016 – 2020, The Using Sediment As a Resource (USAR) project aims to introduce a resource-efficient approach based on the potential for re-use of dredged sediments in a number of novel applications. USAR will identify, demonstrate and test new methods and develop the business models and tools that water managers need to apply this circular approach in practice.
Water management authorities are responsible for keeping waterways in the 2 Seas region free from accumulating sediments to reduce risks of flooding and to keep waterways accessible for water based transport. Most of this sediment is transported and dumped as waste, a very costly and wasteful operation.
Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners are partners in a consortium that has been awarded funding from the European Union’s Interreg 2 Seas Programme for the USAR project.
The Interreg 2 Seas Programme covers England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) and is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Our partners in the USAR project are Hoogheemraadschap van Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard (HHSK) – a Dutch regional water authority, Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV (W&Z) – water management authority for the Flanders region of Belgium, École des Mines de Douai (EDM) – a French National Graduate School of Engineering and the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT), also from the UK.
The overall objective of USAR is to introduce technologies, methods and tools for the use of dredging sediments as a resource into the practice of water managers, by identifying, analysing and testing potential applications that make use of dredging sediments and by developing sediment management tools to enable water managers to embrace a circular approach to sediment management.
Key outputs include:
- Inventory catalogue of possible uses of sediment as a re-source and conditions, potential, limitations for use
- Recycling strategies for partner territories based on local potential for uses of sediment
- Operational Sediment Management System: ICT tool for water managers to make business cases and management decisions for recycling of sediment.
- Pilot test one – blending organic sediments with agricultural waste for soil elevation and improvements
- Pilot test two – geotechnical treatment of polluted sandy sediment to provide material for waterway embankments
- Pilot test three – use of marine dredged sediment in coastal saltmarshes as coastal defence
For this project Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners are working with Exo Environmental who will manage the project and provide the required technical expertise. BHC will be responsible for:
- Liaison with Marine Management Organisation, Natural England, Environment Agency, Council and other stakeholders,
- Liaison with environmental (non-statutory) stakeholders, RSPB, EWT, local community groups,
- Take lead on the Pilot test three- the use of marine dredged sediment in coastal saltmarshes as coastal defence,
- Monitoring and evaluation of partner pilots to develop a decision matrix of sediment recycling tools showing where and when they can be used, including reducing sediment input and contamination,
- Participate in all key outputs and learn from partner organisations,
- Evaluation of whether the novel approaches piloted in the Netherlands, Belgium and would be applicable in the Essex.
For an up to date schedule of progress and planning go to USAR
Interreg 2 Seas: http://www.interreg2seas.eu/
HHSK Netherlands (Hoogheemraadschap van Schieland en de Krimpenerwaard): https://www.schielandendekrimpenerwaard.nl/werk-in-uitvoering/zorgen-voor-droge-voeten-en-schoon-water/what-is-usar
VW Belgium (Belgium Waterways): https://www.vlaamsewaterweg.be/usar
EDM France (Ecole Des Mines de Douai): https://usar.wp.mines-telecom.fr/
WRT United Kingdom (Westcountry Rivers Trust): http://wrt.org.uk/project/usar/