Main research questionThe aim of the project is to limit the risks of drought, salinization and flooding in the Oudland Polder by means of a coordinated and adapted water and land management, which at the same time takes into account the diverse land uses within the polder.
In periods of heavy rainfall, it can impair drainage and lead to flooding. In dry periods, roots can't reach down far enough to the deeper soil levels and therefore cannot access existing water, causing drought stress. This can influence crop nutrient and water uptake, all of which result in depressed crop yield.
In particular, drier summers, a shortage of fresh water, the rise in sea levels and the higher risk of flooding (with salt water) puts pressure on agriculture in the North Sea region.
With climate change, agriculture is experiencing both increased drought and flooding problems. Healthy soils, on the one hand, store more water and allow good rooting, so plants are less likely to suffer from drought.
This results in, among other things, a greater risk of flooding, less water infiltration, warmer cities and towns, less CO2 storage by plants and the soil, and a loss of biodiversity. Desealing provides more space for nature and food production, less flooding, cooler cities, greater biodiversity, healthier air and a better climate.
This will certainly be the case in the future, where we can expect more weather extremes due to climate change and, therefore, also more dry periods or heavy showers with flooding. Combined with our high degree of urbanization, the amount of paved area, and our population density, this means that our water resources are under pressure.
Organic matter acts as a buffer against pH fluctuations and acts as a source of nutrients through mineralizationincreased water permeability resulting in less runoff, a reduced risk of flooding and better replenishment of surface and groundwatera higher water holding capacity which leaves more water available to the plant during the growing season which
ILVO IS COMMITTED TO:
The countryside as a resource
Open space is crucial not only for our food production, but also for climate change: to temper the heat-island effect and to buffer against flooding. It maintains biodiversity and creates a landscape for city-dwellers seeking rest and recreation.
Climate change is putting pressure on Flanders, partly due to the increase in flooding, prolonged droughts and the increasing demand for cooling. ILVO therefore focuses on strategies to make the open spaces more climate-proof.