News January 2024

Recommendation in the spotlight: the ecological impact of aquathermy in navigable watercourses

Watercourse managers are increasingly receiving project requests on aquathermy applications. That is sourcing thermal energy from surface water for heating or cooling purposes. After use, the heated or cooled water is discharged back into the watercourse.

Vlaamse Waterweg nv asked INBO what the possible ecological impact of aquathermy applications could be. INBO compiled current knowledge in a recommendation.

We propose not licensing aquathermy projects in areas where brook lamprey, bullhead, spined loach occur or where they are targeted; nor in the European protected habitat 3260, shallow streams and rivers with good structure and aquatic vegetation. INBO also proposes to limit aquathermy on the main migration routes for fish, and where weatherfish, common dace, common chub, burbot, twaite shad, river lamprey, sea lamprey or salmon occur or are targeted.

Lode De Beck

>> Read the recommendation (in Dutch)

Image above: Shutterstock


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