Delta Programme 2011

The first Delta Programme was submitted to the House of Representatives on Prinsjesdag (the state opening of parliament in September), 2010. It was drawn up with Dutch level-headedness and constitutes a safe and flexible approach.

The new-style Delta Plan is based on measurements and scenarios developed by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in 2006. Over the past century, we have seen sea levels rise, subsidence occur and our climate become warmer. The KNMI figures show that these trends are continuing. When planning for our country we need to take heavier rainfall into account. Yet the summers can be become drier, endangering our freshwater supply.

The new-style Delta Plan contains measures to secure the safety of our delta in the near future, such as the Room for Rivers programme, the Maaswerken (Meuse Works), strengthening dikes and strengthening the weak links along the coast. Choices for the future have also been prepared.

Given that we do not know exactly how the changes will develop, flexibility is an important element in the choice of measures. An example of such a flexible measure is sand supplementation along the coast. Sand is sprayed onto the coast based on the measured rise in sea level. If sea levels rise more quickly, more sand will be sprayed.

The measures in the new-style Delta Plan contribute to the realisation of the policy set down in the National Water Plan (2009–2015). Protecting our country from water and ensuring a sufficient supply of freshwater are not short-term issues. They are matters for which attention will be necessary for the long term. Work on the delta will be on-going.