The peat soil in the Veenweiden subsides by an average of one centimetre per year. The Veenweiden System Programme of VIC Zegveld has discovered that something can be done about this, using pressure drainage and ‘wet’ cultivation in the area. ImpactReporters has produced three brochures about this for dairy farmers, water boards, research institutes and government organizations.
The Western Veenweiden forms a unique Dutch area of 4500 hectares, located in the provinces of South Holland and Utrecht. Seven hundred farmers ensure its open and green character, but unfortunately the area is not only affected by subsidence, but also suffers from high CO2 emissions, poor water quality, and low bird populations.
VIC Zegveld and partners experimented with a completely new form of underwater drainage, using well drainage. This technique turned out to cause less subsidence in the experiment, and to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 75%. Seven dairy farmers and the local water authority De Stichtse Rijnlanden are now further developing this underwater drainage. Water-tolerant crops such as cattail and cranberry are also able to help.
We demonstrated the most important results of the System Programme on the basis of research results and interviews. In addition, together with VIC Zegveld, we have shown how entrepreneurs and water boards are now taking up these results, and what the next steps can be.