Cross-Border Cooperation on Flood Protection Launched

With the signing of a cooperation agreement, the Netherlands and Germany have launched a joint study into flood risk management in the border area between the two countries.

The study focuses on applying the Dutch risk-based approach to cross-border dyke sections in the border area between the Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Dutch Cabinet has decided to base safety standards on the risk of flooding. This means that North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands currently have very different approaches to flood protection.

Through this study, the two countries want to identify the differences and investigate what they mean for the safety of residents on both sides of the border.

Mutual responsibility

Both the Netherlands and Germany work hard on flood protection.

The emphasis in the Netherlands is on river widening and dyke improvement projects. In Germany, the focus is on improving dykes and on constructing retention basins upstream.

The two countries are dependent on one another as far as protection from floods is concerned.


The study that has now begun is an extension of the cooperation between the two countries that has existed for many years.

The main focus of the current study is on flood protection in the border area. A joint analysis of the flood risks will be performed and possible measures to mitigate these risks will also be analyzed. In this regard, the consequences of dyke breaches for both countries will also be examined.

Furthermore, a comparison will be made of the Dutch and German approaches to flood risk management.

The results of the study can be used to harmonize flood protection and they will enable investments in flood management to be made in the most effective manner. The two-year study is co-funded by Dutch and German partners.

Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) is coordinating the study.

The German-Dutch Flood Management Working Group (Arbeitsgruppe Hochwasser) is the study initiator and is supervising the project. On behalf of the partners, the working group will ensure that the study delivers the desired result.

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