The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London, United Kingdom

Water Management

The history of the Netherlands is a history of water defence strategies and land reclamation. It is a history of co-operation, of inventing and reinventing, of experimenting and innovating.

Climate change, expanding economies and urbanization are putting the world's delta populations at risk. Increasing numbers of people are living in vulnerable cities in low-lying areas. Billions of people lack access to clean water and sanitary facilities. The Netherlands has extensive experience, knowledge and technology to meet these challenges.
The Dutch have earned a worldwide reputation when it comes to water management, whether it’s a challenge of too much, too little, or not clean enough.

Living in a densely-populated delta below sea level, the Dutch were forced over centuries to develop extensive knowledge and experience in finding high quality, sustainable and affordable solutions to protect delta areas.

The position of the Netherlands as a low-lying delta with three major rivers makes it the maritime and water management hub of Europe. Dutch expertise is particularly strong in the areas of in hydraulic engineering, flood control and protection, foundation technology and infrastructure. The Dutch are renowned for their ability to design and build storm surge barriers and levees, reclaim land through high-tech dredging and engineer entire coastal areas and harbours. On this page, you will find everything you need on Dutch expertise in the water sector.

Recent floods in the UK
Following the recent flooding in the UK our governments discussed the opportunities for Dutch and British authorities to share ideas and experience in strengthening the UK’s future resilience to flooding. The combination of Dutch research and innovation with the UK’s practical operational experience will be a valuable basis for knowledge exchange.

Did you know…?

… 60% of the Netherlands is susceptible to flooding, either from the sea or the rivers?
… The Dutch Delta Works is the largest flood-defence scheme in the world (16,500 kilometres)?
… The Dutch invest heavily in innovation and R&D through public-private partnerships?
… 99.9% of Dutch households have access to clean, entirely chlorine-free drinking water?
… Two Dutch companies command half of the entire world’s market for dredging?