F2) Public participation

Laura Verbrugge
Wessel Ganzevoort

“Identifying barriers and opportunities for stakeholder participation in monitoring the effects of river interventions”

Practical motivation

Involvement of local stakeholders allows water managers to make better informed decisions and facilitates learning among participants. The aims of this project are to identify barriers and opportunities for stakeholder participation in monitoring the effects of river interventions. Our study area is a ten-kilometre stretch of the Waal between Tiel and Ophemert where the traditional groynes have been replaced by longitudinal training dams (LTDs). This intervention has split the river into a main and secondary channel to improve flood safety and discharge capacity. LTDs are also expected to reduce maintenance costs, and create opportunities for inland shipping, recreation and nature development.

Opening of the longitudinal training dam at Ophemert. (Source: Laura Verbrugge)

Research Aim

The aim of this study is twofold:

  • To monitor how local residents, recreational anglers and boaters, and shipping professionals perceive the changes that come about due to the construction of the longitudinal dams;
  • To explore how and to what extent local stakeholders can be involved in monitoring the effects of the dams, and initiated a pilot project for participatory monitoring. The results from this project will inform the design of public engagement strategies.


  • Surveys measure public perceptions of the river landscape, attachment to the area, trust and perceptions of impacts of the longitudinal dams;
  • Participatory monitoring is used as a tool to engage local stakeholders in adaptive monitoring.

Main outputs and next steps

  • By linking landscape values to place change, our results inform current monitoring and adaptive management in the area;
  • Next steps include a comparative assessment of case studies measuring landscape values and place attachment in river restoration projects in Europe.

Study areas

Key study areas: Waal River (Netherlands)

Last modified: 17/06/2018

Main researchers

Laura Verbrugge
Wessel Ganzevoort

Supervisory team

dr. Riyan van den Born


dr. ir. Denie Augustijn


Contributing partners

Rijkswaterstaat Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

Witteveen+Bos Engineering and Consulting

HKV Consultants


University of Twente

Radboud University Nijmegen

How to take public perceptions into account?

Laura Verbrugge
Wessel Ganzevoort

Identifying opportunities for participation in river management via a collaborative monitoring program.

Featured Outputs

Users’ perspectives about the potential usefulness of online storylines to communicate river research to a multi-disciplinary audience

14/08/2018 by Juliette Cortes Arevalo et al.

Contains: Journal publication

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The role of place attachment in public perceptions of a re-landscaping intervention in the river Waal (The Netherlands)

01/05/2018 by Laura Verbrugge et al.

Contains: Data repository upon request Journal publication

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Baseline perceptions of water-based recreationists before the construction of the longitudinal training dams

16/01/2018 by Wessel Ganzevoort et al.

Contains: Data repository access Journal publication

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Implementing participatory monitoring in river management: The role of stakeholders' perspectives and incentives

15/06/2017 by Laura Verbrugge et al.

Contains: Data repository upon request Journal publication

View output


Fishing along the dam newsletter editions

01/12/2017 by Laura Verbrugge

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RiverCare meeting room


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Project group
Project F

Contact details

Laura Verbrugge

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