The Border or Common Meuse (in dutch Grensmaas) is a about 43 km free-flowing, river stretch between Maastricht and Roosteren with a gravel character. It has ca 40 years of activity the oldest Nature-Based solution of the Netherlands.
Since 1980 all economical shipping was redirected via the Juliana channel, which runs parallel to the Grensmaas. Making this part of the Maas the only big river without traffic in the Netherlands. The water levels and discharges here are highly dependent on the rainfall in the Belgium Ardennes and the weir systems, which regulate water levels along the course of the Maas. The average discharge in the Grensmaas is about 200 m^3/s with discharges in winter exceeding 1500 m^3/s and summer discharge below 10 m^3/s in extremely dry seasons. Thanks to the considerable gradient (approx. 45 cm / km) the Maas flows faster here than in any other part of the river.
The fast flowing and gravel character makes the Grensmaas unique in the Netherlands river systems and offers potential habitats for many characteristic river species: land- and water plants, birds, macrofauna, and fish species.
A new approach in water management