The conversion of waterways in the Lippe area
The change in water systems resulting from an environment shaped by heavy industry is not limited to the Emscher region. Rivers and streams that have been converted into open wastewater channels can also be found in the neighbouring areas to the north, and hence within the area of responsibility of the LIPPEVERBAND. When it comes to their use as wastewater channels, the Seseke and a number of other tributaries to the Lippe are entirely comparable to the Emscher.
Just as there, the waterways were released from their concrete corsets after mining activities moved north. In future the wastewater will flow through underground sewer pipes, so that rivers and streams can again be fed with clean water. Wherever possible, the waterways will be given space for near-natural development, so that their banks become not only valuable biotopes, but also attractive leisure locations. Particularly in the urban areas of the Lippe and Seseke, the conversion programme will also result in a significant improvement in quality of life, and hence an enhancement of the location.
In the last 25 years, more than 1.5 billion euros have been invested in the expansion of our wastewater treatment plants, sewers, and the ecological development of the waterways. The positive effects can be seen not just in a significant improvement in water quality, but also in the increase in value of the river and watermeadow, and hence overall in the revitalisation of a region with a high quality of landscape, water management and culture.