Circular Water Stories

The research project Circular Water Stories explores what we can learn from historical water systems in terms of the interaction and engagement between people & water, when building resilient and valuable waterscapes for the future. The project is funded by NWO / KIEM.

Play video sprengbeken (wellspring brook) in Renkums Beekdal (Renkum Brook Valley)

Engagement between people and water systems: learning from the past for the future

In collaboration with Delft University of Technology and Cultural Heritage Agency NL we are investigating the historical and present relationship between people and water. As a case study we have chosen the sprengen-beek stelsel  (brooks and wellspring system) located around the push moraine of the Veluwe Massief. These artificial springs and brooks were dug to drive the watermills that provided energy and proces water predominantly for paper mills. A local industry that thrived from the 17th to the early 19th century. After the collapse of the paper industry the mills were transformed into laundry and copper mills. After WW2 this cultural waterscape with high ecological value came under threat caused by neglect and damage due to urbanisation. The collaborative management of this water system that was intertwined with the daily lives and labor of the local people may provide insight on how to improve peoples engagement with local off the grid water management in the future.

We are currently conducting fieldwork for this project.

For Circular Water Stories I am collaborating with Inge Bobbink, Gerdy Verschuure, Michiel Pouderoyen (TU Delft), RCE / Cultural Heritage Agency NL (Ellen Vreenegoor, Arne Haytsma) and  Emma Ottevanger  (Dutch Water Authorities). The project is funded by NWO / KIEM