Introduction to the conference
10-11 November 2011, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Dredging is no longer a stand-alone exercise, but rather is becoming part of a broader, more integrated project realization process. The dredging industry is increasingly confronted by projects involving environmental protection, nature development, offshore energy production and mineral mining on the sea floor. We are no longer in the era of "Dredging and nothing but dredging", we are in the century of "Dredging and beyond". The CEDA Dredging Days 2011 will focus on two main areas where this integrated dredging approach is emerging:
- Dredging and rock dumping for the offshore oil and gas industry and deep-sea mining
- Building with nature for soft and hard dredging solutions (coastal and inland)
The offshore oil and gas and mining industries are increasingly calling upon the skills of the dredging industry. As these industries frequently move their activities to new, formerly marginal areas, they increasingly face tough natural conditions such as great water depths, near-permafrost condition, hard soils, and harsh weather. At the same time the requirements for higher efficiency, accuracy and (eco-) safety in exploration technology remain. These tendencies in turn present new challenges to the dredging engineers and equipment. Innovative technical solutions are being created that allow projects to be carried out in places and situations that were not considered viable several years ago. High precision stone dumping at great water depth is one example.
Coastal ecosystems are vulnerable, as are the inhabitants of low laying areas along coastlines and rivers. Building hard structures, for example structures the sole objective of which is to prevent flooding is no longer the most obvious solution in an integrated approach for coastal zone management. Structures can be engineered to fulfill both ecological and economic objectives. Flood defenses that take into account or even use the existing natural system without compromising the functioning of the defense and safety of the hinterland can be more effective and cheaper in construction and maintenance. Soft interventions may be considered as dynamic solutions in cases where flexibility is important. Again such interventions can be engineered to fulfill more than one function thus creating better and more integral solutions.
Combining the strengths and knowledge within the dredging profession with that within the partnering fields in the above areas presents an enormous innovative potential. CEDA Dredging Days 2011 will bring together a multidisciplinary group of experts to present the newest results of their cooperation, to discuss new requirements and opportunities for improvement.
Last update: 11 March 2011