The goal of this Delta Plan is to expedite and intensify adaptation efforts in order to ensure that the Netherlands will be water-resilient and climate-proof by 2050. Rather than biding our time, we want to prepare preventatively and adaptively for climate change. This is in line with the overall vision of the Delta Programme.
In this respect, it is important to realise that climate-proof spatial planning can prevent some waterlogging, heat stress, prolonged drought, and urban flood threats, but never entirely so. To a certain extent, we must accept that such conditions will hit us more frequently, and ensure that in such cases the damage will be contained. We can achieve this by restructuring our living environment.
A water-resilient and climate-proof design requires efforts in every quarter. The governments, the business community, NGOs, and society: everyone must do his part and set to work. In one’s own back garden, on rooftops, on private business properties, and in public spaces. Each individual party can take measures, under local supervision.
Above all, we need close collaboration: between residents, businesses, and governments; between sectors; and between the local, regional, and national levels, for example, in adapting the water system or the sewer system. Furthermore, collaboration opens up opportunities for co-funding and knowledge exchange. Investments in spatial adaptation will gain in cost-effectiveness if measures are linked to other taskings, such as the energy transition, accessibility, and the circular economy. Such an integrated approach ties in with the intention of the Environment Act.
The tasking pertaining to water-resilient and climate-proof spatial planning is one that involves all scale levels, but particularly the local and regional ones. For that reason, the ambitions are being set down in municipal, provincial, and national Environmental Visions, and in the implementation plans of municipalities, district water boards, NGOs, and the business community. This Delta Plan aims to expedite and intensify this approach by setting out a number of collective ambitions, interim goals, and actions at the national level.