Delta Decisions

In 2014, the Delta Programme presented proposals for the Delta Decisions. These decisions represent the main choices for the approach to flood risk management, freshwater supply, and climate-proof and water-robust spatial planning in the Netherlands. The Delta Decisions guide the measures that the Netherlands will be implementing in the short and long term.

(A pale blue background with the on-screen text: Delta Programme. An animation. Voice-over:)

SILENCE

SCREECHING OF WATERBIRDS

VOICE-OVER: The Netherlands is a delta.
Water is everywhere.

(A map of the country.)

In fact, the Netherlands is so low-lying
that nearly 60 per cent of the country is at risk of flooding.
We have dunes along the coastline
and have been building dykes and flood defences for a very long time.
The most famous ones we built following disasters.
Take the Afsluitdijk following the storm surge of 1916.
Or the Delta Works after the devastating floods of 1953.
We are safe but vulnerable.
And without action risks remain threatening,
because the sea level is rising, while the soil subsides.
The temperature is rising and the weather is becoming ever more extreme.
From heavy rain
to more dry periods.

(A map full of buildings.)

But above all, there are more and more people and investments
we need to protect against the water.
That is why the Delta Programme Commissioner was appointed in 2010.
On behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment
he devises measures to maintain the safety and quality of life
of our low-lying country in the future.
The Delta Commissioner works together closely
with provincial and municipal authorities,
the government, water regulatory authorities,
companies, knowledge institutes and civil-society organizations.

(A pile of books.)

All of those parties share knowledge with each other,
so that we can view the problems and solutions from all sides.
That way the Delta Commissioner ensures support for the measures needed.
Through this approach we can combine the measures
with plans for nature and recreation, for example,
and create acceptance and added value for society.
We are not adopting a wait-and-see approach,
but are seeking to prevent a future disaster.
We are acting now
in order to offer everyone in the Netherlands the same protection.

(Houses by a dyke.)

That is why we are raising,
widening and strengthening the dykes at crucial points.
And, in some places, we are giving our rivers more space.
In the Rhine-Meuse Delta we continue to take steps to ensure safety
when there are storms at sea in combination with floods on the rivers.

(A moving ship.)

We make sure important infrastructure, vital public services
and densely populated areas are extra well protected.

(Buildings and trees.)

Our towns and villages are preparing for the changing climate too.
For example, by providing sufficient water storage and more green in cities.

(Buildings, trees, a pond.)

Some 20 per cent of our economy is dependent on fresh water.
We make sure that water is retained and distributed more efficiently,
so that shortages are less likely to occur.
In the IJsselmeer we are introducing flexible water levels
to increase the fresh water above our capacity.
And excess water can be pumped to the sea through the Afsluitdijk,
despite rising sea level.

(A map of the country.)

How quickly the climate is changing is uncertain.
We want to be prepared on time and are starting now, calm and alert.
Over the coming decades we will ensure the safety
and quality of life of our country.

(A road work sign.)

A robust country, equipped to deal with the extremes of nature.
Delta Programme 2015: a new delta plan for the 21st century.

(On-screen text: Delta Programme 2015: a new delta plan for the 21st century.)

Delta Programme 2015 contains the proposed Delta Decisions. The decisions revolve around a new approach to both flood risk management and the freshwater supply. In addition, the Delta Decision on Spatial Adaptation indicates how we can ensure that our spatial planning is water-resilient and climate-proof. Finally, the Delta Decisions guide the concrete approach for the Rhine-Meuse delta and the IJsselmeer region. Supplementary to the Delta Decisions, the Decision on Sand has been set down. This decision involves sand replenishment in order to boost a safe, economically strong, ecologically robust and attractive coastline.

Delta Programme 2017 sets out the progress made with respect to the elaboration and implementation of the decisions. The central government, the provinces, the district water boards, and the municipalities have embedded the policy ensuing from Delta Programme 2015 in their policy plans or will do so in the very near future. The central government has embedded the Delta Decisions in the National Water Plan as policy decisions.