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

Water Management in the Netherlands

On this page, we will introduce you to a few topics relevant to water management in the Netherlands. Please click on the link below to find the information you're looking for.

This report describes the Dutch context of flood risk management, the institutions, our flood protection standards for flood defenses, financial issues, large projects, urban planning and the choice not to insure against flood risk, the influence of European legislation and finally specific issues concerning our disaster management and response.

The beach, the sea and the dunes give an impression of peace, space and freedom. Not everyone knows that these dunes work hard to resist the waves during a storm. They therefore have an important function in protecting a major part of the Netherlands against flooding and in making it safe to live, work and invest there.

The goal of the Dutch Room for the River Programme (Ruimte voor de Rivier) is to give the river more room to be able to manage higher water levels. At more than 30 locations, measures will be taken that give the river space to flood safely. Moreover, the measures will be designed in such a way that they improve the quality of the immediate surroundings. The Room for the River programme will be completed by approximately 2015.

World Water Day was on 24 March in the Netherlands! World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference.

The history of Dutch water management dates back to about the 9th Century. The country lost large areas of land during the period until the 13th Century.

By 2050 all Dutch people must be protected against floods at a risk level of death of 1:100,000 per year. These new risk-based standards imply no more fatalities due to flooding than 1 in 100,000 per year. Specific key economic areas, including power plants and gas supply infrastructure, will receive a higher protection level.

The Sand Motor is an innovative method for coastal protection. The Sand Motor (also known as Sand Engine) is a huge volume of sand that has been applied along the coast of Zuid-Holland at Ter Heijde in 2011. Wind, waves and currents will spread the sand naturally along the coast of Zuid-Holland. This is called ‘Building with Nature’. The Sand Motor will gradually change in shape and will eventually be fully incorporated into the dunes and the beach. The coast will be broader and safer.

Source: Dutch Water Sector