A Strategy for Dutch Rivers to Handle Climate Change and New Safety Standards (PAP014351)
Ralph M. J. Schiele, L. F. M. van den Aarsen
Impact of climate change on flood risk
Water management is crucial to the Netherlands. An advances system of levees, dams and dunes hasbeen constructed over the past centuries to protect its citizens and its economy, making the Dutch Deltathe best protected delta in the world. Programmes like Room for the River and regular maintenanceprogrammes ensure that the current safety levels are maintained. However, to anticipate climate changeand increased economic value behind the levees, it is necessary to consider whether the current safetylevels standards are still adequate for the long term (2050 and beyond). This is done in the DeltaProgramme, a policy project to study new safety standards in combination with expected climate change(and hence, increased discharge and sea level rise) and the appropriated measures to reach to thosestandards.In this paper, we will explain the process of getting to a balanced choice of measures, solving thecombined problem of new standards and climate change. This is not a top-down process, nor bottom up.It is a process which is carried out in a close cooperation with various levels of government andstakeholders. The outcome of the process is a relatively well supported strategy which is however, not ablueprint for 2050, let alone 2100. It gives a direction in which a solution has to be sought, whereas theactual choice of measures (spatial measures, or dike reinforcement) is the subject of the next phase ofthe Delta Programme.