ⓘ Waal (river)

Waal (river)

ⓘ Waal (river)

The Waal is the main distributary branch of the river Rhine flowing approximately 80 km through the Netherlands. It is the major waterway connecting the port of Rotterdam to Germany. Before it reaches Rotterdam, it joins with the Afgedamde Maas near Woudrichem to form the Boven Merwede. Along its length, Nijmegen, Tiel, Zaltbommel and Gorinchem are towns of importance with direct access to the river.

The river, which is the main channel in the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta system, carries 65% of the total flow of the Rhine.


1. History

In 1915, a perfectly preserved iron and bronze Roman cavalry helmet, known as the Nijmegen Helmet, was uncovered on the left bank of the Waal in Nijmegen.

The name Waal, in Roman times called Vacalis, Vahalis or Valis, later Vahal, is of Germanic origin and is named after the many meanders in the river West Germanic languages: woh, lit. crooked. It is, in turn, thought to have inspired early Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley region in New York to name the Wallkill River after it Waalkil "Waal Creek".

The current river shows little signs of these great bends, since the river has been the subject of numerous normalisation projects carried out in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries to improve the river as an economically important shipping route. Some of the cut-off bends are still visible near the main river and are sometimes reconnected to it in times of high water levels.


1.1. History Bend in South Holland

In the Middle Ages, the name "Waal" continued after the confluence with the Meuse. The delta parts now known as Boven Merwede, Beneden Merwede and the upper section of the Noord were also called Waal. Near Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, the main stream continued west until it flowed into Oude Maas near Heerjansdam. This last stretch past Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, which separates the river islands of IJsselmonde and Zwijndrechtse Waard, still is called Waal, but is more commonly known as Waaltje Dutch for Little Waal. It has been dammed off at both ends.


2. Water quality

The Waal has significant adverse water quality due to discharge of raw sewage by France and Germany. A number of pathogens have been monitored to occur in the river waters from such sewage.

  • IJsselmeer Meuse Maas Rhine River Scheldt River Waal River Chenab River Indus River Parana River Paraguay River Amazon River Lake Titicaca San Bernardino
  • Arnhem, the Rhine is at its widest, although the river then splits into three main distributaries: the Waal Nederrijn Nether Rhine and IJssel. From here
  • it intersects the Lek branch of the Rhine and then continues on to the river Waal near Tiel, with a branch, the Lek Canal, to the Lek near Nieuwegein. Rail
  • Boven Merwede is a stretch of river in the Netherlands, mainly fed by the river Rhine. The Afgedamde Maas river joins the Waal at Woudrichem to form the Boven
  • in Gorinchem Afgedamde Maas in Woudrichem branch of Meuse in Heusden Waal in Woudrichem Bijlands Kanaal at Millingen aan de Rijn Rhine Rijn in
  • The Nijmegen railway bridge is a truss bridge spanning the River Waal connecting the city of Nijmegen to the town of Lent in the Netherlands. Construction
  • the river splits and its name changes often Nijmegen railway bridge between Nijmegen and Nijmegen Lent railway station, across the Waal River Rhine
  • river Rhine and so improve river traffic and water regulation. The canal, now indistinguishable from a real river forks off north from river Waal a
  • channel flowing north until its confluence with the river Waal the main distributary of the river Rhine to form the Merwede, while the other channel

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