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Frank van Steenbergen MetaMeta

Frank van Steenbergen is natural resource management specialist and director of MetaMeta (www.metameta.nl), a 30-expert strong company dedicated to sustainable resource management. Dr. van Steenbergen has worked over the past twenty five years in water resource management and policy change – covering water resource management, groundwater development, agriculture, partnership building, transboundary water management, irrigation, water harvesting and wetlands. In his work he combines policy work, program development, actual implementation support, capacity building, and network development. He has been in the preparation of policy documents, mostly recently the Groundwater Governance Vision and Framework for Action on behalf of GEF, World Bank and FAO. He was team leader of the research program Connecting Roads, Groundwater and Livelihoods and is Phase 2 Global Resilience Partnership program on Roads for Water and Resilience – that tries to connect road development with water resources management.

About the Presentation

Roads have a massive impact on hydrology: in many case roads and road crossings either retain water or serve as a drain, often concentrating run-off, where this did not happen before. At present, the marriage between roads and water is often not a happy one. The prevailing practice among road builders is to protect the road and evacuate water away from the roads as soon as possible. This practice however has grave negative impacts. Roads cause local floods and water logging along the way, whereas the more concentrated run-off from drains and culverts are in many areas a major cause of landscape degradation and sedimentation. This negative character however can be turned around and roads can be used as instruments for larger water security. Roads can be used to ‘harvest’ water in dry areas for instance: this can generate substantial beneficial impact and contribute to better climate resilience. Moreover, managing water from the roads can contribute to road longevity. The webinar will discuss examples from different parts of the world – where road development and water security can be co-optimized. It argues that we need to rethink design and maintenance practices and make a number of modification to make roads working contribute substantially not just to transport but also to the productive environment around them.

Target Audience

  • Road & Transport Agencies Executives
  • Engineers and Managers Involved in Highway Maintenance
  • Private Consultants & Contractors
  • Toll Operators
  • Service Providers