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Building with Nature Guideline > Building Solutions > Shoreline zonation strategies > Inland shores 

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Inland shores


An inland shore is an area for water storage connected to a nearby lake or river in which ecosystem services are optimized for multiple land use, thereby creating new economic opportunities. Large water level fluctuations are taken into account in advance and optimizing sustainability is the main theme in the whole concept. Inland shores are connected to the lake or river through inlets in the dike. Connections to the regional water system are optional but advisable. Inland shores can store and release water if needed, allowing the area to function as a climate buffer and freshwater storage. In addition, the design takes into account the possibility to function as a helophyte filter to allow improvement of water quality which is considered to be essential for proper functioning. Additional functions (e.g. recreation, fishing, aquaculture, floating infrastructure for living and working, sustainable energy production by sun, wind and water, floating agriculture, nature development) can be added depending on the desires of stakeholders.

The concept is based on the idea that climate change will increasingly lead to extreme weather that can damage existing land use functions through floods and droughts, and on the idea that freshwater is a valuable resource that provides economic opportunities if properly managed.

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How to Use

Inland shores (in Dutch "achteroevers") are possible along large water bodies where the water level is higher than the hinterland. Then water can flow into the inland shore by gravity. An extra dike is needed to keep the water within the borders of the inland shore. This needs to be a reliable construction. A sustainable energy source (e.g. solar, wind, water) is used to pump water back into the large water body and to control the water level fluctuation in the inland shore. The pump facility should be equipped with a fish-friendly migration facility (see

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Practical Applications

The principle of an inland shore is already being practised at two locations.

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