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The Hagestein Weir

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by

Sabrina Forrester

on 12 June 2014

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Transcript of The Hagestein Weir

Why Was the Hagestein Weir Built?
The Hagestein Weir is a moveable weir or in other words a dam. The weir is located along the Lek River, a branch of the larger Rhine River, near the village of Hagestein. Construction of the weir began in 1954 and was finally completed in 1961. The construction of the several weirs in the Netherlands was a result of the North Sea Flood which happened in 1953. The flood left a wake of devastation. It killed over two thousand people and left thousands more without a home. Also, a tenth of all farmland was overwhelmed by the vast amounts of water. Because of these devastating effects, the weirs were built as a preventative action to ensure that the area that was harmed would not be affected by the problem that is flooding. The Netherlands was so affected by the flood because around 20% of the land is under the sea level and 50% is only about one metre above sea level so the country relies heavily upon flood preventatives. The weir offer a way to ensure that these problems will not reoccur.
The Hagestein Weir, Netherlands
The Effects Of The North Sea Flood,1953
Location and Climate
The Hagestein Weir is located near Hagestein; a small village the can be found near the larger city of Vianen, both cities are located in the province of Utrecht. Hagestein was officially given its city rights in 1382. It remained a separate city from 1818 to 1986 until it merged with Vianen in 1986. Hagestein is located in a temperate oceanic climate. This means that the climate has warm (but not hot) summers and cool (but not cold) winters. Hagestein lacks a dry season, even though there is a smaller amount of rain in the fall months, which is significant reason as to why flooding is such a problem. Having this type of climate also means that the weather is heavily affected by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The weir are meant to protect the land from the overbearing amounts of rain that they receive.
How Does It Work?
The Hagestein Weir is comprised of two huge arches, the arches have a span of around 54 meters. One of the main functions that the weir preforms is controlling the water flow in the Rhine River. This is a large part of the overall flood prevention. The arches are attached to concrete abutments and are stored in an upright position They then rotate down into the river to close the flow. Also, the weir has a fish channel that allows fish to continue in the natural cycles of their species. Another function the weir provides is hydroelectricity. The weir doubles as a hydroelectric power plant for the surrounding area. The power plant uses 3.5 MV turbines to create power for thousands of homes near the weir. All operations are carried out with the use of computers, however, the majority of operations can be carried be man power if necessary.
A stream in Hagestein, Netherlands
The Hydroelectric Power Plant at the Hagestein Weir
Full transcript