Elevated Sandy Soils South and East

Implementation of freshwater supply strategy

The preferential strategy for the Elevated Sandy Soils focuses on the efficient use and preservation of water, optimisation of the water supply, and adaptations to the impact of climate change such as drought and waterlogging.

preferential strategy for the Elevated Sandy Soils

See DP2015, preferential strategy for the Elevated Sandy Soils.

On schedule

The preferential strategy for the Elevated Sandy Soils is being substantiated through a large number of measures. No milestones have been set down for each individual measure; the measures have been incorporated into the area-specific schedules of the Delta Programme partners. In many cases, implementation of a measure requires linkage with other taskings. 

In 2016, the district water boards mainly focused on the preparation of integrated plans and the implementation of projects. The preparation of integrated plans is taking more time than had been foreseen. The expectation is that the district water boards will make up for this delay in the years ahead. The district water boards in the Eastern region expect to have completed some 35% of the measures set out in the working programme by the end of 2017. In the Southern region, the district water boards and other parties are expected to carry out a considerable proportion of their measures in 2017. Several have already been launched, such as those pertaining to the desirable groundwater and surface water regimes in Leigraaf and Biesenloop (both implemented by Aa en Maas district water board), the Schalkhaar canal (Drents Overijsselse Delta district water board), and the restoration of brook valleys (Vechtstromen, Rijn en IJssel, and Brabantse Delta district water boards). The Vallei en Veluwe district water board is investing in projects under the heading of Climate Active City. The expectation is that the Realisation Strategy will prompt the agricultural sector and terrain managing bodies also to launch measures in 2017.

Realisation Strategy

Realisation strategy for freshwater supply measures in East-Netherlands.  

The implementation of freshwater supply measures calls for collaboration with local governments, the business community, and NGOs. Several parties in the Eastern region, among which is the Vitens drinking water company, had not yet submitted measures under the implementation programme (BOK Freshwater supply) but are now willing to contribute. The Southern region has set aside 20% of its total budget for such “newcomers”. In 2016, the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg set down the “other target groups” scheme to this end. The newcomers have submitted more than 40 proposals in 2016. Twelve projects have been outsourced and will be carried out in 2017. The final tenders will follow in 2017. This means that the entire budget available to the Southern region up to and including 2021 will have been appropriated in 2017, and all the projects initiated by municipalities, agricultural parties, nature reserve managing organisations, water companies, and the business community will commence.

The supply of water from the main system via the Noordervaart in Limburg turns out to take more time and cost more than originally estimated. The expansion of the Noordervaart requires several costly interventions to objects. The additional costs of the project have already been reduced considerably through “smart combinations” of measures pertaining to shipping, flood risk management, and the supply of water. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Directorate-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs and Rijkswaterstaat) is working on a solution in collaboration with the region. 

The climate adaptation pilots, such as the Smart Weir (SAWAX), and the Lumbricus research programme are proceeding as planned.

On track

Currently, there is no reason for adjusting the preferential strategy. In early 2017, a water availability bottleneck analysis (quick scan) was carried out for the southern region of the Elevated Sandy Soils, based on the adapted KNMI scenarios. Water shortages appear to be falling, but nonetheless water shortage will still be an issue in the future. Water distribution will increase in relevance, in terms of both space and time. For the time being, no new comprehensive models will be set up. The results of the study will be used in the area-specific models and theme-based pilots, such as the provincial groundwater balance in Noord-Brabant. Ongoing and scheduled integrated area processes will also utilise the results.

Integrated approach

An integrated approach, as proposed in the Delta strategy on water quality and freshwater supply, is already common practice with respect to the Elevated Sandy Soils: consolidating various water quality and water quantity goals (groundwater and surface water), setting up a resilient water system, addressing all the aspects of climate change, and connecting measures with other interests of consumers.

Delta strategy on water quality and freshwater supply

Appendix to Parliamentary Document 27625 no. 379.

The taskings and measures pertaining to the optimisation of freshwater availability and the reduction of waterlogging are closely intertwined. Both taskings require more space, by taking measures in the fields of spatial design and management, and better gearing the use of land and space to the performance of the (ground) water system. The Elevated Sandy Soils Delta Plan had already set this integrated approach in motion. The waterlogging during the summer of 2016 has raised both awareness and the urgency of an integrated approach in the area. The integrated approach involves the closely interconnected elaboration and implementation of water availability and spatial adaptation measures.


Collaboration with consumers was the point of focus during the project initiation meetings in the Eastern and Southern regions. NGOs and organisations presented ideas for a more resilient freshwater supply. The project-based working method always involves a dialogue with land owners and other stakeholders.

In the Southern region, consumers have been weighing in from the outset, in the consultative group, the Delta Programme for the Elevated Sandy Soils South project group, and the Meuse Steering Group. A point of attention is the wider involvement of municipalities in the water availability process. Linkage with climate adaptation will probably open up additional opportunities to that effect. This calls for proper coordination with the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation and the existing working units operating under the Administrative Agreement on Water. A positive result is that the provincial arrangements for parties that had not yet submitted projects have generated many applications from municipalities in the Southern region. Several projects will be launched in 2017 (see On schedule). The agricultural sector has also submitted more proposals. In the Eastern region, the agricultural sector and the terrain managers are standing partners in the Regional Consultation Committee, as is the drinking water company. These consumers have actively contributed to the Realisation Strategy for freshwater supply measures in East-Netherlands.

Implementation of spatial adaptation strategy

The district water boards have scheduled area-specific measures for 2017 aimed at improving the resilience of the water system and adaptation to longer periods of drought. Wherever possible, the measures are combined with measures to combat waterlogging as set out in the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation.

In 2017, the city of Eindhoven set down a climate adaptation plan featuring goals and plans for climate mitigation and adaptation, and the actions envisaged for the years ahead. The city will be climate-proofed in various ways, including by restoring water systems and constructing new green and blue structures. For quite some time, Eindhoven has been committed to greening public (and private) outdoor spaces, in order to reduce the volume of paved surfaces in the city, and enhance the quality of greenery and biodiversity.

Giving impetus to climate adaptation – Invitation to South-Netherlands

In June 2016, parts of the provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant were struck by extreme rainfall and hail. District water boards, provinces, and municipalities have collectively analysed the events, and decided to give impetus to climate adaptation. The ensuing report Uitnodiging Zuid-Nederland: versneld aan de slag met klimaatadaptatie [Invitation to South-Netherlands - Giving impetus to climate adaptation]calls on all parties in the region and the central government to contribute to water-proofing and ensuring the climate resilience of the region. The invitation sets out “the need” (the tasking is urgent and acute), the “ambition” (the region has identified many opportunities for combining water taskings with other spatial taskings), and the “capability” (expediting and intensifying regional initiatives). The governments intend to spend the contributions on, e.g., expanding the capacity of water systems, “cooling” heat spots in the city, greening public spaces, improving rainwater collection, and expanding the options for infiltrating water into the soil.

  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