Wadden Region

Implementation of flood risk management strategy

The preferential strategy for the Wadden Region focuses on the preservation of the buffering function of islands, outer deltas, and intertidal areas. Wherever possible, natural materials and processes are used, and the measures are carried out in an integrated manner. Sand replenishment and dynamic dune management ensure a sustainable balance between the sand system of the island coast and the rising sea level. Monitoring, system studies, and pilot projects generate increasing knowledge about the functioning of the system, as a basis for future coastal management (Coastal Genesis 2.0). Wherever possible, dyke improvements foster nature and sustainable forms of human use. The Wadden Sea Dykes General Exploration maps out which innovative dyke concepts are appropriate to particular locations. For each Wadden island, a multi-layer flood risk management strategy is being developed.

preferential strategy for the Wadden Region

See DP2015, preferential strategy for the Wadden Region.

On schedule

The preferential strategy for the Wadden Region is being substantiated through various measures. All measures are on schedule. Some of the measures are highlighted below.

The Coastal Genesis 2.0 research programme has commenced (cf. Paragraph 4.6). This study needs to provide answers to knowledge questions such as: “How much sand will our coastal system require in the long run?” and “Where and when will we deposit that sand?”. Sub-studies relevant to the Wadden Region include the one into the functioning of the tidal inlets.

Since September 2016, three universities have been working on SEAWAD: a four-year research project that will provide more insight into the sand system of the underwater deltas between the Wadden islands. The key question is whether large-scale sand replenishment on the outer deltas of the tidal inlets, similar to the Sand Engine along the Zuid-Holland coast, will enable coastal maintenance of the Wadden islands. SEAWAD thus provides answers to a number of significant questions from the preferential strategy for the Wadden Region.

Regular coastal maintenance with sand replenishment is proceeding as planned. Channel margin replenishment off the islands of Ameland and Vlieland will commence in 2017-2018. A monitoring process will show how effective sand replenishment at these locations is in terms of coastal protection. Within Coastal Genesis 2.0, a pilot is being developed involving a sand reservoir of some 5 million cubic metres on the outer delta between the islands of Ameland and Terschelling. This pilot is scheduled to be launched in 2018. Its impact in terms of both morphology and ecology will be monitored for several years. The pilot is intended to examine whether this method of providing the coast with the required volume of sand will cause less nuisance and disruption to the environment and nature than traditional sand replenishment (learning by doing). This question bears a strong relation to the sand deficit issue in the Wadden Sea.

The dyke improvements set out in the Flood Protection Programme are also on schedule. The contract for the Eemshaven-Delfzijl dyke improvement was awarded in December 2016. This is the first improvement project in the Netherlands to be carried out under the new flood protection standards. The dyke will have an earthquake-proof construction. In 2016, Rijkswaterstaat launched a further study into the flood protection tasking for the Vlieland dyke. In 2017-2018, potential solutions for the required improvement will be explored. Phase 1 of the Wadden Sea Dykes General Exploration has generated a selection of twelve solution strategies for integrated and innovative dyke improvements. The solution strategies involve new dyke concepts, the use of materials, and hydraulic preconditions. In Phase 2, pilots will be conducted to map out the effect of the solution strategies on dyke improvements scheduled along the Wadden Sea. The assessment of the technical aspects of some projects is taking more time than expected, but the study will be completed by the end of 2017, as planned.

The dyke will have an earthquake-proof construction.

In this region, mild earthquakes occur in relation to the exploitation of deep natural gas reservoirs.

On track

Currently, there is no need to reconsider the preferential strategy

Integrated approach

Regular coastal maintenance, involving sand replenishment and dynamic dune management, is conducive to flood protection, leisure functions, nature, and the economy. The Ameland Sea Gate replenishment pilot shows whether sand replenishment to the outer deltas will be a useful adjustment to current replenishment policy, and whether it will contribute to the realisation of the nature tasking. 

The goal of innovative dyke concepts is combining flood protection with other functions. Lessons learnt in the Wadden Sea Dykes General Exploration are already being put to use in dyke improvements. The Eemshaven-Delfzijl dyke improvement is a fine example of an integrated approach: this dyke will be earthquake-proof, and give impetus to innovation, nature, leisure functions, and the regional economy. 


Various stakeholders are active in the Wadden Sea Dykes General Exploration. In the exploration phase of regular dyke improvement projects to be implemented under the Flood Protection Programme, stakeholders and interested parties are not only provided with information; they are also invited to actively weigh in. They are taking advantage of this opportunity. Representatives of various interest groups are participating in the consultative groups for the dykes and the sandy coast. 

Implementation of freshwater supply strategy (IJsselmeer Region freshwater supply region)

Implementation of spatial adaptation strategy

The first phase of Waddenlei, the study into multi-layer flood risk management on the Wadden islands, has been completed (impact project). In collaboration with the Fryslân Security Region, the island municipalities are preparing an action plan aimed at developing a multi-layer flood risk management strategy for each island in the second phase, with active involvement of the island residents, and in collaboration with bodies such as Rijkswaterstaat and the Wetterskip Fryslân district water control board. The strategy involves a resilient design to reduce the impact of floods and ensure the continued performance of vital functions (second layer of multi-layer flood risk management), courses of action, and relief through the facilities available on the islands (third layer of multi-layer flood risk management). The second layer is mainly dictated by the economic strength of the island municipalities and nature legislation. Measures may be required to enable ferry services and outer infrastructure outside the dykes to operate. The third layer measures are particularly important because the islands are left to their own devices in times of emergency, more so than other areas, whereas the capacities of emergency services and governments are limited, and the islands may be crowded with tourists. The security situation differs from one island to the next. An impact analysis has generated individual flood risk maps for each island.

  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