Streams, rivers, drains, storm basins, sluices and watersheds will take centre stage from 17 to 24 March in the Belgian capital at the fourth edition of Brussels Water Days, which will feature waterside encounters, guided tours, cruises, lectures and an awareness campaign on the theme of “The Sea Begins Here”. “The sea is an integral part of our city-region,” Brussels Environment Minister Céline Fremault said, stressing that “rivers and waterways have been hidden or insufficiently highlighted for too long. Like the Patrimony Days, the Brussels Water Days are aimed at developing our blue patrimony, which is a real wealth of our region.”
The waterside encounters will provide an opportunity to meet water operators, sports associations active in water-related fields and elected leaders with aquatic portfolios around breakfast or a hearty aperitif, while the youngest visitors will take part in games. These are to be held at the Boitsfort pools, along the Geleytsbeek at Uccle, the Senne, and the Neerpede pools in Anderlecht, around the new urban rivers in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe and Ganshoren, along the Molenbeek in Jette and along the Brussels canal.
The name of the awareness campaign, “The sea begins here,” will be engraved with stencils next to drains. These urban footprints are aimed at encouraging residents and visitors alike to avoid throwing anything in them.
Although Brussels’ waste water is cleaned through two purification stations, some drainage ditches send their rainwater directly into pools and waterways, especially when the drains overflow. Garbage piles up in the drains and clog the purification stations.
Schools will be offered an adapted programme of activities in various parts of Brussels throughout the week. On International Water Day, 22 March, professionals, students and citizens interested in the theme of water are invited to Brussels Environment for a conference on “Hydrology, Geology, Geothermal Energy in the Brussels Region: new tools, data and knowledge”.
Further, Brussels residents are encouraged to share their photos on social media, using #BeWaterBeBrussels.
Brussels Water Days are organised by Brussels Environment, Coordination Senne and about 50 partners: associations, communal organisations and regional bodies.