InCom Working Group on "Values of Inland Waterways" – Update
PIANC InCom Working Group 139, Values of Inland Waterways, held a meeting 10-13 February in Aswan, Egypt. WG members from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Egypt and USA attended. David Grier from IWR is the US member. The meeting was originally proposed for February 2011, but postponed due to the political unrest then occurring. WG 139 members were invited to tour the Aswan High Dam, which impounds the reservoir of Lake Nasser, and provides hydropower, water storage, and flood protection for a large area of Egypt. The High Dam was completed in 1970 and it took several more years to fill the reservoir, which stretches south beyond the border with neighboring Sudan. It is 364 feet high and 12,562 feet in length. The group also toured the 1902 old Aswan "low" dam and flight of lock chambers, located several miles downstream from the High Dam. The highway atop the old dam serves as the main road to Aswan's airport.
The WG 139 meeting itself made considerable progress in drafting a final report and developing case studies from around the world on the multipurpose value of inland waterways. Case studies presented for the US include the Columbia-Snake Waterway System and the Erie Canal. Another case study on TVA's development of the Tennessee River Basin is being added at the request of the group. Other case studies include a number of waterways in Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and the UK, as well as the Nile, and the Parana-Paraguay system in Argentina. Addition of the Yangtze in China is being considered. The emphasis is not primarily on waterway use for commercial navigation, but multi-use benefits of freight waterways as well as restoration/redevelopment and associated economic contributions of canals and waterways where freight has been supplanted by recreation and/or other activities, but the "value" of such activities are not fully appreciated or quantified. The WG 139 report will also assist planners and decision makers in newly industrializing countries where inland navigation may offer economic development opportunities that haven't been fully explored. The next meeting of WG 139 is planned for late June and a final report and workshop are planned for early 2013. POC: David Grier (email@example.com).
revised 31 March 2012