Water Management in the Netherlands
Having the right amount of water for water users, at the right time, in the right place, and at socially acceptable costs is one of the key targets for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
Today’s ground rules for the distribution of water in the Netherlands originate from the 1980s, more specifically from the second Policy Document on Water Management.
At the time, the entire water infrastructure was reviewed. The conclusion was that large-scale investments in the water infrastructure were not necessary and that good management would suffice to optimise the benefits of our water distribution system.
Our infrastructure and the ground rules still suffice, but the capabilities have been stretched to the limits. Climate change and sea level rise prompt a re-examination of our water management. The resilience of the main water system, the water infrastructure and the ground rules are up for reconsideration.
Water usage has also changed and new facilities are needed. We can only respond to the forecasted climate changes if we are fully conversant with the way the main water system works.
The question is, are we still familiar with the background, the operation and the rules of our water management? This booklet seeks to contribute to answering that question.
This is also an excelent opportunity to offer our collegues from abroad an overview of the specific situation of water management in the Netherlands, a country that would not be inhabitable without our flood defences and water management structure.
I hope you will enjoy reading it.
General Director, Rijkswaterstaat, Centre for Water Management
'Water management in the Netherlands' is a joint publication of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Directorate-General Water and Rijkswaterstaat, Centre for Water Management
Geo Arnold, Henk Bos, Roel Doef, Reinier Goud, Neeltje Kielen, Francien van Luijn, Rijkswaterstaat, Centre for Water Management
More information Helpdesk Water, www.helpdeskwater.nl