Venue: Novotel Düsseldorf City West

Address: Niederkasseler Lohweg 179, 40547 Düsseldorf, Germany


  • Canal River Trust – Danny Brennan
  • Canal River Trust – Stephen Higham
  • Provincie Antwerpen – Sabine Denissen
  • Waterways Netherlands – Manon van Meer
  • City of Ghent – Rudy van der Ween
  • Rijkswaterstaat – Paul van der Maat
  • Waterways Ireland – Caroline McCarroll
  • Voies Navigables de France – Frederic Millet


  • Hainaut Culture Tourism – François-Xavier Allard
  • De Vlaamse Waterweg nv – Judith Wouters Värmland County Administrative Board,Katarina Nordmark Lagan Navigation Trust,Brenda Turnbull
  • Erlebnis Bremerhaven – Franziska Stenzel
  • Telemark Canal Regional Park – Dawn Marie Syvertsen

Welcome and Opening by chair Danny Brennan

Minutes of the meeting in Brussels, held on 6th of October 2018

  • RWS is giving an update on the Riverguide: AIS will be included in the app,
  • it will be extended for at least 3 years and features will be extended too. It will be released in March this year. VNF; Frederic, it will be interesting for VNF and Flemisch Waterways.
  • Minutes of previous meeting, page 6. This text is amended to state the following from waterways Ireland:

Waterways Ireland’s programme delivery from 2002-2013 was largely focussed on the enhancement of aging navigational infrastructure, creation of new harbours, additional public moorings and restoration of the Royal Canal. From 2014, amidst significant reductions in our operating budgets which were 100% funded by the government in Northern Ireland and Ireland, and faced with a decline in the hire boat market, we changed our strategic focus to increasing recreational use of our waterway environments to attract different types of recreational users, both on and along our waterways.

The changed strategic focus required us to also examine the potential of our existing infrastructural assets to attract a multiplicity of user types, and through balanced development of towpaths, creation of canoe steps, boat slipways, lowered jetties, innovative marketing, and community capacity building interventions with the private, public and community sectors, we have created Blueway and Greenway success models that continue to be developed along our waterways network. Integral to successfully delivering this strategy has been the development of collaborative internal and external partnerships for each project and securing third party funding from Interreg, Leader and other government programmes which we must bid for through competitive open public calls.

– the minutes are approved (appendix 1)

New website demonstration and discussion

(leading into Workshop on NIWE future development…)

The new website was very well received and a number of immediate improvements were suggested (e.g. perhaps a “rolling” picture show, breaking down headings tabs to target innovation, live and completed projects, activity more clearly, how to ensure lakes were represented, how to keep the website “lively” and fresh, when to introduce the social media functions, how to maintain it…).

The new website is now live on the existing address ( ) for members to view (though still work in progress, all existing material has been taken across).

On next steps to bringing the website to the full use and role we envisage for it, we agreed that we would have a “soft” launch for the website (more below in terms of related NIWE development) as soon as NIWE members have provided the following:

  • 2- 4 high resolution photos (and any short videos that you think relevant) that express what the organization is about/activities that do this (these can be urban, rural, people or activity orientated);
  • Confirmation of the best link to your main “entry” web page (just for confirmation, we’re pretty sure we’ve got this right on the new platform, except for Gent…) so that when anyone clicks your logo, they go straight to your services and story;
  • Links to reports of the last few EU related projects you have been – or are presently – involved in (if you have a brief summary of these, even better, but this is probably for later for most of us);
  • Links to reports of the 2/3 most important/relevant areas of research/innovation/action your organization has been involved in ((again, if you have a brief summary of these, even better, but this is probably for later for most of us);
  • And each NIWE member to review its own EU and national agency/institution partners contact lists to prepare for the website launch communication (see below) and perhaps share the EU related list to minimise duplication/multiple emails to EU partners?

We hope to have this material by mid February and will identify a launch date in March when we have received it and planned how and by when the content is loaded onto the new website. In the meantime, please add the link to NIWE to your website (if not there already).

The launch is intended to enable us to use the new website to refresh our relationships with old friends (existing agencies and partners, EU and nationally) and new friends (new EU and other agency contacts, new partners via projects such as Green WIN).

A proposal for a common email message to them will be drafted (DB) by 24th February for circulation, discussion and finalization, along with a proposed common date for the email launch communication (envisaged to be early/mid March, depending on content receipt from NIWE members), with each NIWE member sending to their mailing list (see above). This will include a basic launch plan proposal.

Workshop discussion

The website review merged with the workshop discussion (typed up flip chart “wall notes” are attached to these minutes as Appendix 2).

It was clear that the new website would be a great platform which would improve our ability to meet our six objectives as NIWE. The workshop discussion was also clear that we need to use the opportunity the fresh, more outward and more content rich website offers to develop the ways in which we work together more broadly. Among the suggestions here were:

  • Enabling NIWE members to identify themes/issues that would benefit from joint working (of 2/3 members, for example), where corporate/organizational priorities could be pursued;
  • Using the fact of moving to (approximately) four monthly formal meetings to communicate more regularly as a whole and/or in smaller groups (again objective/task based) by phone/skype
  • Each NIWE member to have a monthly (?) mechanism/way to review NIWE/EU related business, in order to keep common issues, tasks at the front of thinking, and to have a lightly structured method of identifying useful additions to the website (research, new developments, meetings or events of common interest). For example, CRT has scheduled a monthly time slot to identify tasks, programme opportunities, etc. and add to the website;
  • Developing a NIWE strategy and annual plan related closely to the six objectives and the key themes of NIWE and member activity identified and in operation to meet them (this will include financial planning and reporting);
  • Identifying where sub groups could add value to NIWE work (for example, communications);
  • Identifying key historical (EU and national that offer lessons) project documents (research, evaluation, innovation, key outcomes, ) that can be added to the website to create interest in it and in NIWE membership or engagement. These will include previous NIWE work such as Waterways Forward, Waterways for Growth, Numericanal.
  • There were other suggestions for strengthening work together, too, as the appended discussion notes show, which we will need to review and decide on how to

Developments NIWE 2019 / Finances

On finances, it is clear that the present funding model and level has not allowed NIWE to work as effectively as we would wish (the levels have not changed since inception and mean that NL has been underwriting the administration function to a degree that is manageable but not effective in terms of the NIWE objectives).

This resource gap and risk is even more clear in terms of the ambition of the refreshed NIWE objectives and the way members wish to implement them (the workshop outcomes show this), as well as the need to maintain and develop the website as our marketing and project transfer and promotion platform.

The meeting thanked CRT for investing in the new website to take it to the necessary level and agreed that more NIWE financial capacity was required for the above reasons.

The proposal is that full member fees should rise to 750 euros per annum (with associate membership staying the same) and that this rise should be dealt with as either a simple raising of the annual fee or invoicing on the basis of activity (such as website development, for example) in pursuit of the

developing NIWE strategic plan. NIWE members will decide which option works best for their

organisation’s processes.


Brand strategy research model / wellbeing – Waterways Netherlands by Manon

(appendix 3)

Each survey contains a set of four subjective wellbeing questions:

  • Life satisfaction (“Overall how satisfied are you with your life these days?”) – an evaluative SWB
  • Happiness (“Overall how happy did you feel yesterday?”) – a hedonic SWB measure
  • Anxiety (“Overall how anxious did you feel yesterday?”) – a hedonic SWB
  • Sense of worthwhile (“Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?”) – a eudemonic SWB

Leisure is connected to wellbeing

  • Leisure is a key life domain and a core ingredient for overall well-being (Diener and Biswas- Diener 2008)
  • Respectively, leisure is the amount of activity/time spent outside of obligated work time and/or perceived engagement in leisure as subjectively
  • The psychological mechanisms that leisure potentially triggers to promote leisure are:

detachment-recovery, autonomy, mastery, meaning and affiliation (DRAMMA)

  • Bottom-up models of well-being have been commonly used to explain how and when leisure influences SWB. They posits that individuals judge their overall life satisfaction based on their satisfaction in specific domains
  • Life satisfaction differs from person to person

Lifestyles can be connected to groups of people

  • What kind of groups do we have
  • What is an interesting way for them to spend their time?

E.g. which of businesses can be connected to them?

  • Which facilities do they need and how do we transform this into regional development plans?

Green WIN: progress report, NIWE engagement

(appendix 4)

The project has started and progress is good (objectives: of reducing energy consumption and lowering our CO2 emissons, 3000p on pump replacement, 25% of energy).

Greener Waterway Infrastructure (Green WIN) November 2018 to May 2021.

WHAT & HOW; Tackles the excess energy use and high carbon emissions Waterway Management Organisations (WMO’s) cause when pumping water around the region’s rivers and canals. The partnership is made up of WMO’s, Universities, Public Service Organisations and Inland Waterways experts from across NWE and is committed to working together to find solutions to this problem.

Partners will carry out laboratory trials to check how well current pumping technologies, systems and processes are performing and to see if we can adapt these to optimise performance, use less energy and produce fewer emissions. We trial different configurations of equipment to see if they work more efficiently and if there are optimal ways to deploy these re-configurations in different hydrological and operational scenarios. We also examine how, or if, we can incorporate renewable energy solutions into existing pumping technologies.

This research stage is followed by live testing of the strongest solutions developed, at 11 pilot sites across the UK, Ireland and France to check how they work in real operational conditions.

INDUSTRY (SME) INVOLVEMENT; Our aim is for the solutions progressed in Green WIN to be developed further, or adapted, by SME’s and pump manufacturers. Individuals or representatives from their trade organisations are being invited to support these activities, participating on an Advisory Board, giving technical advice at the installations of pumps / systems at the trials and in the initial testing at the University of Liège’s laboratories. Their commercial insights will give us a better understanding of the industry’s needs and help ensure we focus on the things that should increase the chances of our greener technologies, systems and processes getting to market.

Plan is to use NIWE / members

  1. to source members of the Advisory Board FROM existing NIWE members
  2. to get ongoing input into / provide expertise FOR the Advisory Board

LONG-TERM EFFECTS; Persuading others to adopt Green WIN’s solutions as good practice is vital if we are to achieve wider efficiencies and carbon reductions. We will be working hard to ensure our tested solutions are applied across more NWE waterways and want to encourage WMO’s outside the partnership to install equipment or adopt the improved systems and processes demonstrated. The investment, procurement and business plan we set out in a Green Practices Toolkit is intended to assist their pump replacement planning when existing equipment approaches ‘end of life’.

NIWE members will be asked to review this document as part of the development. This adds important peer reviews and wide transnationality (wider than just NWE so a real positive)

We will set up a Greener Waterways Network to promote and sustain the findings from Green WIN long in to the future, teaming up with other inland waterway organisations and environmental groups to champion this initiative and encourage more WMO’s across Europe to use them to help ‘make their waterways greener’.

Plan is to use NIWE / members

  1. as THE Greener Waterways Network itself?
  2. to source members of the Greener Waterways Network FROM existing NIWE members
  3. to get ongoing input into / provide expertise FOR the Greener Waterways Network
  • Network on the website. Future waterway management on the
  • Chris will send information
  • Closed section on the

14:30 EU developments

Waterways and wellbeing: NIWE members consider that there is potentially a strong EU programme project to be developed to widen understanding of and develop the outcomes methodologies related to Wellbeing, broadly defined. Steve will develop a first proposal for circulation and comment among NIWE members, to consider participation.

15:30 Closure

Date and place of next meeting

In Rotterdam (20 minutes train from Schiphol Amsterdam) – invited by RWS, 2 July 2019