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Unscheduled stoppages, hazards and exceptional waterway levels, anywhere. (Public)
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TOPIC: Flemish Waterways

Flemish Waterways 18 Sep 2022 20:59 #131980

  • John Frazer
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From our club;

Geachte,

Sinds 22/08/2022 werd de pleziervaart enkel nog samen geschut met de beroepsvaart en dit omwille van de voorgaande droge zomer en de lage waterbeschikbaarheid. Door de neerslag van afgelopen periode heeft de droogtecommissie geadviseerd om deze maatregel niet langer aan te houden. Vanaf 17/09/2022 kan de pleziervaart terug geschut worden, wel nog onder de maatregelen zuinig schutten, indien lokaal van toepassing.

Ik wil u vragen deze informatie zo snel mogelijk te verspreiden naar uw leden, zodat de pleziervaarders goed geïnformeerd zijn.


Vriendelijke groet,

Wendy Princen
RIS-medewerker Exploitatie

De Vlaamse Waterweg nv
Afdeling Sturing
Havenstraat 44, 3500 Hasselt
www.vlaamsewaterweg.be


Dear,

Since 22/08/2022, pleasure boats have only been locked together with commercial boats, due to the previous dry summer and low water availability. Due to the precipitation of last period, the drought committee has advised against maintaining this measure. From 17/09/2022, pleasure boats will be able to return to lockage, albeit still under the economy lockage measures, if locally applicable.

I would ask you to circulate this information to your members as soon as possible so that pleasure boaters are well informed.

Kind regards,

Wendy Princen
RIS employee Exploitation

De Vlaamse Waterweg nv

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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Flemish Waterways 10 Sep 2022 10:18 #131846

  • Tony Yates
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I thought they might take this approach. Sadly we are in the U.K. and not able to return to move our barge, (from Veurne to Ghent), until the month end. Hopefully there will be further improvement between now and then.

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Flemish Waterways 09 Sep 2022 19:36 #131838

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Received from my club today and machine translated

Dear,

As a result of the dry spring and the dry and warm summer, the discharges from the Flemish waterways are very low. Moreover, the precipitation of the past period and the coming days will not lead to a significant recovery of water resources.

In order to deal with the available water quantities as effectively as possible, many operational measures have already been introduced on the Flemish waterways, such as pumping back protective water, limiting or prohibiting water capture, introducing economical barriers, etc. Subsequently, on 18/08/ 2022 also indicated that from 22/08/2022 pleasure craft can only be used together with professional shipping.
In the period between 18/08 and 21/08/2022, everyone still had the chance to reach their home marina. However, this has not worked for everyone.

River discharges have stabilized or increased slightly as a result of recent precipitation. This may be a temporary effect, as it will again be largely dry next week.
From 08/09 to 11/09/2022, the water-saving measure regarding pleasure craft will therefore be temporarily placed “on hold”. During this period, pleasure craft can therefore again be locked without commercial vessels, under the applicable measures regarding economical locking, so that everyone has an additional chance to reach their home marina, if desired.

From 12/09/2022, the water-saving measure regarding pleasure craft will again apply and pleasure craft will again only be used together with commercial shipping.

Depending on the situation, the Drought Committee creates possibilities to limit the impact of the water-saving measure as much as possible.
The Drought Committee thanks you for your cooperation and understanding.
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Flemish Waterways 30 Aug 2022 10:34 #131621

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You did well! It seems to be very much a judgment call on the commercial waterways. On the non commercials it is very much a case of closed and staying closed. We have tried all the very polite pleas and asked if we can be grouped, opening the locks for just an hour or so and the answer is a polite but firm ‘no’.
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Flemish Waterways 27 Aug 2022 11:53 #131571

  • Robert Harris
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Well here I am in Leuven and it seemed easy. I had a couple of hours to wait to get off the tidal Rupel and then a barge came the other way. They needed to reset the lock for another barge so up I went. To progress southwards to Leuven up through about 5 locks, it was made clear to me that I would have to wait for commercial traffic yet I never did share a lock with anyone. Pleasure traffic was virtually zero and commercial barges rare.. What got me through, I think, was being patient and polite. I had told them that I didn't mind if it took all week. In the end it took two days, and mostly at my pace with locks and bridges cooperating almost immediately. I was careful to phone up afterwards to say a big thank you.

So the lesson seems to be, the rules are there but can be broken. Hope this helps!
Robert
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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 17:52 #131422

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I have just chatted with Peter, the Leuven havenmeester, and he says just have a preliminary chat with Centraal. Thereafter anything is possible!

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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 15:11 #131417

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Here is a translation courtesy of google...
Does anyone know how much commercial shipping there is on the canal to Leuven. That is my destination for the winter and I've a week to get there.
Thanks
Robert

Drought Commission – water-saving measure​​18/08/2022

Dear,

As a result of the dry spring (March and April) and the dry and warm summer, the discharges from the Flemish waterways are very low. Moreover, the precipitation of the past few days and the coming days will not lead to a significant recovery of water resources.

In order to deal with the available water quantities as effectively as possible, a number of operational measures have already been introduced on the Flemish waterways, such as pumping back protection water, limiting or prohibiting water capture, introducing economical locks, etc. Given the current situation, these measures are insufficient.

In such periods of water shortages, a Drought Committee comes into action, which is responsible for consultation and coordination regarding necessary water-saving measures, so that the remaining water resources are used as effectively as possible. The introduction of these measures is based on the “reactive assessment framework for priority water use during water scarcity”, which was communicated to the Flemish Government on 30/04/2021. The reactive assessment framework is a support system for water conservation and priority water use in the run-up to or during periods of water scarcity.

In view of the current drought situation, the Drought Commission in its consultation of 18/08/2022 called on all sectors, governments and citizens to reduce their water consumption as much as possible. The Drought Commission has also taken a number of concrete measures to deal with the remaining water quantities as effectively as possible. Specifically with regard to pleasure craft, it has been decided that this will only be used together with professional shipping. In concrete terms, this means that pleasure craft is no longer possible on waterways with very little or no commercial shipping. This measure will take effect from Monday 22/08/2022 and will run for as long as necessary. Until 21/08/2022, pleasure craft will still be locked, under the applicable measures regarding economical locking, so that everyone has the chance to reach their home marina, if desired
The table below provides a concrete overview of the impact of this measure via color code.
• Green: pleasure craft can be used together with commercial vessels
• Orange : pleasure craft can in principle be locked together with commercial shipping, but given the limited dimensions of the locks and/or the limited commercial shipping intensity, there is a real risk of long waiting times.
• Red : pleasure craft can no longer be used as there is no commercial shipping available
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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 10:48 #131404

  • Richard Cooper
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You can also grow a fine crop of barnacles on the hull. Last time we tied in the Coupar in Brugge I noticed the dog staring at something in the shallow bit under the staging, It was a crab, a proper seagoing crab wandering around.

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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 10:17 #131402

  • Tony Yates
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Cheers Balliol, very interesting….you learn something new every day. Heading into Veurne on Tuesday, all being well.

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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 09:54 #131399

  • Balliol Fowden
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A colleague moored in Veurne spoke to one of the VWW staff there a few days ago and was told something slightly different, viz. that the situation would be "reviewed" on the 29th.

Whatever the correct information is there is another factor which has been known to affect some of the near-coastal or polder waterways and that is the issue of salt water uplift. If there is not enough fresh water entering the waterways the salty ground water (permeation from the sea through the sand) can rise and affect fish stocks and irrigation. There was a case of this in (as I recall) 2018. Not only can the salt water rise naturally if there is an insufficient overlay of fresh water but also it can be stirred up by vessel movements. Hence any closure in these areas (principally the Kanaal Nieuwpoort Duinkerke and the Yzer on the last occasion) might be more prolonged. The issue is not simply whether the canal is full of water or not; it has to be the right sort of water!

Balliol.
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Flemish Waterways 21 Aug 2022 08:27 #131398

  • Tony Yates
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I tried calling them and got through to someone who couldn’t speak any English and as I can’t speak Flemish it was a fail!
What seems clear is that they are closing the ‘red’ waterways 22/8-27/8 , give us the chance to get through on the 29th and then shut up shop again if they have to. A compromise!

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Flemish Waterways 20 Aug 2022 16:24 #131388

  • Pete Milne
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The message from VPF that I gave a translation of earlier says "This measure will take effect from Monday 22/08/2022 and will run for as long as necessary." so I wouldn't bet on 27/8 unless it rains.
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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.
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Flemish Waterways 20 Aug 2022 14:01 #131386

  • Liza Hauwaert
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Dear Nicholas,

Officially this accouncement for Flanders is “only” valid until 27/8. However it may be extended of course.

I would recommend keeping an eye on www.visuris.be/Scheepvaartberichten as that is the Flanders Waterways Authority’s official website.

For anyone thinking the Walloon authorities might publish something about this: that’s not usually the Belgian way ;-)

Hope it rains here (Flanders) soon and you get to do some cruising as planned.

Best regards,
Liza
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Flemish Waterways 20 Aug 2022 10:30 #131376

  • Tim Cahill-O'Brien
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We travelled on the Belgian Meuse last week. There is plenty of water on the whole river though the flow is near zero. They wont lock you through without a commercial or a lock full of cruisers so you have to wait for an hour plus at each lock. When you reach the Netherlands this restriction goes away and they will lock you through those huge locks with only one or two cruisers.

See the following article, www.brusselstimes.com/245698/meuse-river-drying-up-threatens-flanders-drinking-water

Apparently the Meuse/Albert Canal is a major source of drinking water and so seems to get priority. Yesterday a local in Venlo told us that the level is actually 30cm higher in the Dutch Meuse/Maas than normal as they are storing water to be used later in the autumn. Today we are in the Leukermeer, Netherlands and the water level seems to be slightly flooded with fishing stations on the shore slightly submerged.
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Flemish Waterways 20 Aug 2022 09:49 #131373

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Good Morning , one would imagine that a document like this will be issued by the Wallonian authorities shortly,( if it hasn't already and I have missed it.)

regards
mpn
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Flemish Waterways 20 Aug 2022 09:17 #131372

  • Nicholas Grundy
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Flemish Waterways 19 Aug 2022 10:19 #131356

  • Sharon Hammond
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Thanks for the translation. It means that from 8/22 the canals in the red list will be closed to pleasure boat traffic.

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Flemish Waterways 19 Aug 2022 10:09 #131355

  • Sharon Hammond
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What does the classification imply? That red ones, for instance, might be closed to traffic?

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Flemish Waterways 19 Aug 2022 09:03 #131354

  • Pete Milne
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Flemish Waterways 19 Aug 2022 07:03 #131349

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I have just seen this from VPF. Waterways are being classified green, orange or red depending on commercial traffic due to dry weather. Could have a big impact for some.

Andy
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