Groundwater quarrels at Paleis Het Loo

Update (Feb. 4, 2007): the site of the province Gelderland provides us with a report on the ins and outs of the way the groundwater surrounding Paleis Het Loo is affected by the extraction of water on behalf of the museum’s fountains. It also gives a nice look at the complexities of managing fountains at a site like this, where not only economical and ecological issues are important, but where the quality of the water and the vulnerability of the materials the fountains are made of also come into play. The report is in Dutch.

Nationaal Museum Paleis Het Loo has almost been penalised, because of leakages in the basin in the Venus fountain. In order to sustain the waterlevel in the fountain, fresh water had to be drawn from the soil, causing major changes to groundwater levels in the surrounding areas.

‘t Loo palace in Apeldoorn/ Holland
Originally uploaded by Maup Smits en zijn foto’s worldwide.

The provincial government threatened the museum with a fine, but has decided yesterday (November 7th, 2006) not to pursue. A request from the museum to withdraw more water has been approved by the province of Gelderland, which argued that in the past two quarters the museum kept groundwater withdrawals within the existing limits. Ironic in this respect is the fact that one of the main jobs of our crown prince is… water management. Think he’s pulled some strings on this one? After all, Paleis Het Loo is a former Royal Palace…

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