Delta Programme 2012
The second Delta Programme (DP2012) was presented on Prinsjesdag (the state opening of parliament), 20 September 2011. A key element in the second Delta Programme is the preparation of the five Delta Decisions, which will be submitted to the cabinet before 2015. These decisions pertain to the standards for our dikes and dams, the availability and distribution of freshwater, the water level of the IJsselmeer, ways to keep the Rhine estuary and Drechtsteden area safe without losing its economic value and ways to take account of water in the construction of neighbourhoods and districts.
The responsibilities of the Delta Commissioner include monitoring the progress of the Delta Programme. The Delta Programme is in full swing and proceeding according to plan. The issues have been mapped out with Dutch level-headedness and the first conclusions have been drawn. In the regions (sub-programmes), solutions are now being prepared leading up to the Delta Decisions that will be implemented with effect from 2014.
Some important interim conclusions drawn from the DP2012:
- In 2014, a water safety programme will be proposed pertaining to the Delta Works of the future. This year, we will gain insight into the updating of the safety standards for dikes. In addition, measures will be taken ensuing from the third assessment of the dams and dikes, which has recently been completed. Climate change will be taken into account as well. Large-scale coastal expansion is not needed in terms of safety. Annual sand supplementation will keep our coast up to par.
- Droughts and salinisation pose a concrete risk to our economy. We must work towards a socially sustainable and economically efficient supply of fresh water. The IJsselmeer remains crucial to the freshwater supply of the Netherlands but it is highly improbable that we will be able to raise the water level by 1.5 metres. We must aim for greater flexibility in our water system by collaborating with the parties involved.
- In view of the financial resources available, just realising the concrete issues that have now been identified in the Delta Programme might take quite a long time.
On 14 October 2011, at the request of the Delta Commissioner, the Environmental Impact Assessment Commission submitted recommendations regarding the structure and working methods of the Delta Programme. In his response to the recommendations, the Delta Commissioner draws the conclusion that the Commission supports the structure and working methods of the Delta Programme in many aspects. The report also comprises a number of important points for attention and recommendations for the follow-up track.