The Dutch Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands. This includes the main inland waterway network and watersystems. To support the design and construction Rijkswaterstaat developed the Waterways Guidelines in 1996, which evolved into the latest 2017 edition (RVW 2017) [Ref. 1]. The RVW 2017 are restricted to waterways without current or with a limited longitudinal flow velocity (less than 0.5 m/s). However, it is evident that in almost all free-flowing rivers this longitudinal flow velocity is exceeded. That is why the Rijkswaterstaat decided in 2015 to develop integral guidelines for inland waterways with a longitudinal flow velocity of more than 0.5 m/s. These guidelines will preferably consist of design guidelines, of tables and rules of thumb for dimensioning the waterway in a free-flowing river, as an extension of the existing RVW 2017.
The starting point of the RVW 2017 is that it provides technically and nautically feasible solutions for the design of the fairway guaranteeing a reliable, smooth and safe journey, by following a prescribed design scheme. This principle is again leading when drafting guidelines for the navigability of flowing waters. The development of the RVW 2017 to rivers started in 2015 by following the same design scheme as in the existing guidelines, identifying all aspects that would change when considering flowing waters. In this respect, only the aspects that needed adjustment or change in relation to the RVW 2017 guidelines necessary were dealt with. This problem analysis was used to draw up a research agenda covering all those aspects. The research program started in 2016 and will continue until half 2019, followed by an integration of the results in an extended version of the RVW 2017, thereby including guidelines for dimensioning the waterway in a free-flowing river.
In the paper an overview of the extension of the RVW 2017 with integral guidelines for waterways with a longitudinal flow velocity higher than 0.5 m/s is described, following the results of the research over the recent years, carried out by the Marin Institute. The paper starts with a short wrap up of the standards, definitions and starting points that determine the preconditions for the design (CEMT class, normative vessel, waterway profile, hydraulic preconditions, wind conditions). Subsequently, the components of the waterway (shipping lanes, locks, bridges and harbors) are standardized in the next paragraphs