High salt levels in the North Sea Canal
Due to the drought of the past weeks and the lack of precipitation, the Netherlands is experiencing low river water levels and high salt levels in the canal. The low water levels mean that less water can be brought in, resulting in high salt levels in the North Sea Canal.
This is not good for water quality. The Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) will take measures in the coming weeks and has requested us to adjust the passage regime of the locks at IJmuiden. This should ensure that less salt enters the North Sea Canal.
Adjusted passage regime
Instead of passing ships through the lock on demand, we will pass as many ships as possible at the same time. This will be done in twelve-hour blocks, thereby limiting the number of passages per day. This measure will take effect next Tuesday, 19 July. Also, passages will only occur when there is a sufficient quantity of ships. As a result, vessel traffic delays will increase because not all ships will be able to be passed through the lock when they want. How many delays will occur is impossible to say at the moment because it depends on the number of ships. The lock scheduling will be continuously made, revised and communicated to all parties using the lock.
We don’t yet know how long the temporary passage regime will last. The water levels will be monitored structurally and evaluated twice a week in a consultation between the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management and the CNB. The Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management will determine whether the implemented measures are sufficient. Based on this we will decide on the next steps and whether we can return to the normal passage regime or whether other measures are needed.
See also the Basijn (announcements to vessel traffic).