Current approach

National level

The parties involved in the Delta Programme have been working on the implementation of the Delta Decision on Spatial Adaptation since October 2014. The Delta Programme supports their efforts through the development and exchange of knowledge, the Incentive Programme, the Knowledge Portal, and a learning evaluation process based on monitoring (2015, 2016) and an interim evaluation (2017). Municipalities mapping out vulnerabilities qualify for support in the performance of stress tests. The Delta Programme has supported the launch of fifteen impact projects, ten of which have already been completed. The results have been disseminated in various ways, including through the Knowledge Portal.

New knowledge has also been generated by national research programmes such as Knowledge for Climate and the Climate-proof Cities focus area of the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme (NKWK). Municipalities, provinces, district water boards, local residents, and NGOs have been gathering knowledge on the implementation of measures. Governments and other parties are exchanging experience and knowledge in networks such as the Climate-proof Cities Alliance and the Climate Adaptation City Deal. The various types of knowledge are important for the improvement and acceleration of spatial adaptation. In addition, attention has been focused on supporting the education sector in order to enable future professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills to embark on spatial adaptation.

The central government is improving the flood protection of national vital and vulnerable functions. The interim goal is for the central government to have set down policy and regulations pertaining to vital and vulnerable functions by no later than 2020. In four area pilots, the Delta Programme has linked the national vital and vulnerable functions track to the regional track. Two of the thirteen national vital and vulnerable functions (nuclear plants and laboratories working with infectious substances) have already been rendered water-resilient. Several waste water purification plants and hospitals are also being rendered water-resilient. The current focus is primarily on the interconnectivity between the ambition levels for the various national vital and vulnerable functions and the embedding of the ambitions based on knowledge regarding the (chain) dependencies between the functions.

Pioneers at the local and regional levels

In recent years, several municipalities and regional collaboratives have already visualised the spatial adaptation tasking using stress tests, climate scans, or other methods. One in every four municipalities has conducted some form of stress test. Pioneers in this field are, e.g., Amsterdam, Breda, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, and Zwolle. The interim evaluation of the Delta Decision on Spatial Adaptation shows that the stress test has borne fruit, in the sense that parties have developed a feeling for the issues, and have been able to concretise the threats and opportunities relevant to them. However, the methods, topics considered, and depth of the studies still differ widely.

Many showcases of concrete projects already exist. In the southern part of the Netherlands, the Aa en Maas district water board and Staatsbosbeheer are jointly working on profitable wet cultivation. Wet cultivation can be combined with water storage, and is conducive to better water quality and biodiversity. In Noordoost-Twente, several measures have been implemented to prevent drought-related damage: raising brook beds, construction of weirs, replacing culverts by “fords”, and creating retention facilities in brook valleys. Rotterdam has adopted a structural approach to combating heat stress and has initiated many small-scale projects to this end. For example, a car park was recently renovated with green façades and a park garden featuring footpaths, lawns, and ornamental grasses. Residents of the Zomerhofkwartier district have replaced paving stones with green (façade) gardens. The municipality has filled redundant parking spots with plants and flowers.

The inner city of Breda is being greened with an eye for cultural history and opportunities for entrepreneurs. In rural areas, the province and district water boards are creating additional water storage facilities in combination with nature, smart surface water level management, and improving the “sponge” function of the soil. The provinces are linking the substantiation of climate taskings to area planning projects such as Waterdunen in Zeeland, Land van Cuijk in Brabant, and brook restoration projects such as the Eckelsebeek in Limburg. Hoogeveen has carried out the “Analysis” and “Ambition” steps in parallel, through the collaborative efforts of staff engaged in various disciplines – green, sewerage, water, and spatial planning. The city can thus quickly embark on the “Action” step, aimed at climate-proofing the Hoogeveen city centre.

The business community is also taking initiatives. For example, the Wehkamp online emporium has rendered its national distribution centre in Zwolle “climate active” through green rooftops, solar panels, and by boosting biodiversity in the vicinity. The building has been rendered water-resilient by locating energy and IT facilities on the top stories, and constructing small dykes around the building. Increasingly more entrepreneurs are opting for green rooftops, or filtering and reusing rainwater. Through Amsterdam Rainproof, the residents of Amsterdam are discovering what they themselves can do with water and greenery. Simple measures are enhancing the appeal of the neighbourhood and rendering it climate-proof.

This run-down is by no means exhaustive. Throughout the country, projects have been realised at various scale levels.

Figure 12a

Potential design that may help to reduce the negative impact of waterlogging, heat, and drought at the parcel level.

Figure 12b

Potential design that may help to reduce the negative impact of waterlogging, heat, and drought at the neighbourhood scale level.

Figure 12c

Potential design that may help to reduce the negative impact of waterlogging, heat, and drought at the regional scale level.

  1. Cover letter and Delta Programme Commissioner’s recommendations
  2. Introductory summary
    1. Continuing the work on a sustainable and safe delta
  3. Part I National level
  4. Progress of the Delta Programme
    1. Progress based on Monitoring, Analysing, Acting
    2. General picture of the progress
      1. On schedule
      2. On track
      3. Integrated approach
      4. Participation
      5. Effectiveness of the regions
    3. Progress in flood risk management
    4. Progress in spatial adaptation
    5. Progress in freshwater supply
    6. Embedding, knowledge and innovation, international collaboration
      1. Embedding
      2. Knowledge
      3. Innovation
      4. International efforts
  5. Delta Fund
    1. Developments in the Delta Fund
    2. Resources from other partners
    3. The financial taskings of the Delta Programme
    4. Financial security of the Delta Programme
  6. Part II Regions
  7. Progress per region
    1. IJsselmeer Region/freshwater supply region IJsselmeer Region
    2. Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden/West-Netherlands freshwater supply region
    3. Rhine/ Area around the major rivers freshwater supply region
    4. Meuse
    5. Southwest Delta/Southwest Delta freshwater supply region
    6. The Coast
    7. Wadden Region
    8. Elevated Sandy Soils South and East
  8. Part III Delta Plans
  9. Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management
    1. Implementation programmes
      1. Flood Protection Programme
      2. Second Flood Protection Programme
      3. Room for the River
      4. Meuse Projects
      5. WaalWeelde
      6. IJsselmeer Closure Dam
      7. Repair of Oosterschelde and Westerschelde stone claddings - Zeeland foreland deposits
    2. River widening in interconnection with dyke improvement
    3. Studies ensuing from knowledge agenda and in regions
  10. Map Flood risk management measures
  11. Delta Plan on Freshwater Supply
    1. Measures to ensure the availability of freshwater in the Netherlands
  12. Map Freshwater supply measures
  13. Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation
    1. Introduction
      1. Justification
      2. Aim and state of affairs of the Delta Plan
      3. Collective realisation
    2. Context
    3. “Analysis, Ambition, Action” – state of affairs
      1. Waterlogging
      2. Heat stress
      3. Drought
      4. Consequences of urban flooding
      5. Current approach
    4. Our intentions: expediting and intensifying
      1. Vision: from the present to 2050
      2. Ambition and strategy
      3. Interim goals
      4. Nationwide governance framework regarding spatial adaptation
      5. Funding
    5. Appendix 1. Action programme
    6. Appendix 2. Outcomes of regional meetings and round table discussions
  14. List of Background Documents
    1. Background documents
  15. Colophon
    1. Colophon content Delta Programme 2018
  16. How to use Delta Programme 2018