Linking Water and Spatial Planning More Intelligently

The Netherlands has a new National Water Plan, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, announced today.

Minister Schultz van Haegen and Martijn van Dam, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, recently discussed how, for the next 6 years, the Netherlands will protect itself from water, how the water will be made cleaner and how the Netherlands will be designed in a climate-resilient and water-robust manner.

The National Water Plan 2016-2021 also contains actions that will enable the Netherlands to remain a leader in water management and actions which will raise the awareness of the Dutch population regarding living with water.

The Minister and State Secretary submitted the new National Water Plan to the House of Representatives today.

Ms Schultz said: “If we want to continue to live in comfort and safety in our delta, water issues have to be combined with other spatial planning projects. For example, combining dyke improvement with nature development, or combating pluvial flooding with urban redevelopment. If everyone is aware of water when working on the spatial design of the Netherlands, we can keep our delta attractive and climate resilient in an affordable way.”

Mr Van Dam added: “Rivers criss-cross the Netherlands, and they have shaped our landscape and natural environment. Water is vital for the production of our food and it affords us a great many recreational opportunities. We sail on water and we swim in it. Together, we can ensure a water-rich natural environment which will also allow us to keep our feet dry.”

6 Years

The National Water Plan lays down the new water policy for the coming 6 years and also looks ahead to 2050.

It includes the Delta Decisions (on flood risk management, the freshwater supply and spatial adaptation) and the North Sea Policy Document with a spatial plan.

Agreements on water from the Energy Agreement, the Nature Policy Vision Document, the International Water Ambition and plans and measures programs through which they will meet European requirements for water quality, flood risks and the marine environment are also embedded in the National Water Plan.