Flood risk management
The implementation of the new flood risk management policy is proceeding as planned. Major steps have been taken over the past year. The amendment to the Water Act, comprising the new standards, came into effect on 1 January 2017. The regulation pertaining to the assessment of primary flood defence systems has also been effective since 1 January 2017 and the first set of instruments is available. These are important conditions to ensure that the flood defence systems meet the new standards by no later than 2050. The assessment of the flood defence systems in accordance with the new standards has commenced; in 2023, it will yield an initial picture of the condition of the flood defence systems and the required dyke improvements. Meanwhile, preparations have started for the urgent improvement of dykes whose safety falls considerably short of the new standards. At several locations, e.g., in the Wadden Region, parties are exploring innovative dyke improvement methods. In the area around the major rivers, the governments concerned are collectively working on an ambition for the combined river widening and dyke improvement efforts up to 2050, in order to set down the points of departure for both types of measures in terms of water management. In the IJsselmeer Region, two significant milestones have been accomplished with respect to flood risk management: the construction of pumps in the IJsselmeer Closure Dams has been put out to tender, and the new IJsselmeer water level ordinance is expected to come into effect in early 2018. The study into reduction of the failure probability and the partial operation of the Maeslant storm surge barrier was completed in early 2017. Within the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden Delta Programme, Rijkswaterstaat is exploring which measures can be implemented by 2028 in interconnection with the safety tasking concerning the dykes (cf. Paragraph 4.2).