International efforts

Climate change, population growth, and water competition are causing ever increasing problems across the globe in terms of flood risk management and water security. From an international perspective, the Netherlands is regarded as a pioneer in the field of water management, which carries a significant responsibility for helping to resolve these issues. The Delta Programme Commissioner, the Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Special Envoy for International Climate Affairs are collaborating closely in this respect. The Delta Programme supports other (delta) countries (among which Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the United States) with the expertise amassed in the Netherlands, markets this expertise, and gains new expertise abroad. For example, the Netherlands has contributed to the compilation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. This national plan comprises regional adaptive strategies, an investment agenda, and proposals for an institutional framework. The Dutch Delta Programme has served as a source of inspiration for this plan. The Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 is expected to be adopted in 2017. The Dutch government will continue to support the further elaboration and implementation phases.

International Water Ambition

The international water and climate adaptation policies pursued by the Netherlands are set out in the International Water Ambition (2016-2021). In his capacity of theme ambassador, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the NetherlandsHenk Ovink reinforces the Dutch international water ambition, and markets the Dutch expertise and know-how, including the experience gained within the Delta Programme. The Delta Programme contributes in particular the preventative approach, multi-layer flood risk management, climate-resilient cities, and Building with Nature as building blocks for foreign climate adaptation strategies, and collaborates closely with other delta countries. Attention is also paid to international coordination in smaller transnational waters, especially during crisis situations.

Delta Coalition

Since its launch in May 2016, twelve nations have joined the Delta Coalition: Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, France, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, Mozambique, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Netherlands. Within the Delta Coalition, the countries work together to improve the resilience of deltas and prevent global water issues, by agenda setting, knowledge sharing, and the promotion of practical applications. The Netherlands is one of the co-founders of this platform and would like to exchange its expertise and know-how, including the knowledge from the Delta Programme. 

International knowledge development

Together with other knowledge institutes, the Delta Programme is expanding international expertise on deltas. In the Delta Alliance, the Delta Programme works together with Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University and Research Centre / Alterra, UNESCO IHE, and Deltares on the “Delta Approach”, as a contribution to a sustainable and realistic climate adaptation strategy. In the Society for Decision-Making under Deep Uncertainty, experts exchange methodological knowledge on dealing with uncertainties in decision-making processes. In 2017, the UN Environment Programme, Japan, and the Netherlands took the initiative of setting up the Global Centre of Excellence for Adaptation in the Netherlands. This international knowledge network focuses on the development of knowledge on effective climate adaptation methods. The input provided by the Delta Programme pertains in particular to the participatory approach and the administrative organisation.

Climate Treaty

In addition to the adaptation to climate change (climate adaptation), combating climate change (climate mitigation) is of vital importance, in order to avoid “fighting a running battle”. Mitigation and adaptation are, in part, communicating vessels: two sides of the same coin. However, even if mitigation proves successful, the effects of climate change will continue to lag for a long time, which is why adaptation remains imperative. The Paris agreement has radically changed the “climate landscape” by setting distinct long-term goals: climate neutrality, climate resilience, and the required restructuring of investments. The agreement thus focuses on both mitigation (limiting global warming) and adaptation (preparing the country for the consequences of climate change). 

In the Netherlands, the Council of Ministers adopted the National Climate Adaptation Strategy 2016 (NAS) on 2 December 2016. The NAS covers the entire scope of climate adaptation and is closely interconnected with the Delta Programme: a major part of the adaptation tasking – the tasking that ensues from waterlogging, heat, drought, and river/coastal flooding – is substantiated by the Delta Programme. The Netherlands also aims to capitalise on the opportunities opened up by climate adaptation, by making expertise on adaptation, water, and safe deltas available to other countries and marketing such expertise. Parties abroad may use this expertise in the realisation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the foundation underpinning the Paris agreement. 

  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