Water as a connecting theme for the establishment of an agricultural landscape park : the case study of the Onderzoekskouter (Flanders)

Activiteit: OverigeAndere soorten (prijzen, externe en andere activiteiten) - (Co)promotor masterthesis


n a context where water management is becoming a crucial issue, it is necessary to develop accurate tools to assess the resource. The Flemish agricultural sector is more subject to extreme events such as floods and droughts than before. A landscape park (Rodeland) and an agricultural park (Onderzoekskouter) in East Flanders are considering the issue very closely. This work is a large-, medium- and small-scale study to restore the water landscape, understand the inter-actions between surface water and groundwater and promote the recharge of shallow aquifers. The large scale is the study of a catchment area and the development of a conceptual model. For this purpose, a detailed characterization, an inventory of water level data, a piezometric map and a simulation with the WetSpass-M tool are carried out. The medium scale is a focus on the Onderzoekskouter and the development of a decision supporting tool for the promotion of infiltration and water retention. Several measures are suggested. Finally, the smaller scale is a practical case to highlight the relevance of wetland restoration for the landscape and biodiversity but more specifically for water retention. To this end, soil physico-chemical properties and ecology are highlighted. Then the site is described for surface water, groundwater and the vadose, through hydrographs, wells installation and pedotransfer functions. This work is a conceptual approach in preparation for a future numerical modelling approach.
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