Delta Programme 2014

The fourth Delta Programme (DP2014) was presented to the House of Representatives on Prinsjesdag (the state opening of parliament) together with the budget for the Delta Fund, in September 2013. 

Main lines for water safety and the freshwater supply

The fourth Delta Programme focuses on a draft proposal for new water safety standards. The new standards use a risk-based approach: the risk of flooding and the consequences of flooding together determine the level of the standards. The starting point in this is that everyone in the Netherlands should enjoy the same basic safety level (10-5). Densely populated areas or areas of great economic value can have a higher protection level. This makes more customisation possible, also within dike rings. The protection level needs to be raised in at least three regions: the rivers region, parts of the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden area and the area around Almere. The water safety level in the major energy production area in Groningen may require additional attention. In areas in which the desired safety level is already in good order according to the new standards, the focus in the time ahead will be on sound management and maintenance. The finalised proposal for the new standards will be drawn up in an interactive process with the regions and will be included in the DP2015.

Consumers of freshwater can already see that dry spells are occurring more often and that salinisation is increasing. The Delta Programme proposes to improve the freshwater supply through several targeted government investments. Moreover, it is important that the supply of freshwater becomes predictable for consumers. The Delta Programme therefore proposes that the state make agreements with regional partners about the supply level: the amount of freshwater available via the main water system for a particular function in a given area. In this regard, agreements will be made with consumers about limiting the demand for freshwater. 

Several conclusions in DP2014

  • The use of multi-layered safety can contribute to meeting the standards if routine solutions involving only dikes or additional room for rivers are impossible, or virtually impossible, as is the case in Marken and Dordrecht, for example. The Delta Programme is further elaborating the possibilities offered by multi-layered safety In five pilots.
  • An approach through which municipalities, housing associations and project developers can better prepare themselves for floods, drought and heat stress in cities, is being prepared in public-private coalitions. More attention is being paid to disaster management, which will also be focused on an action perspective for citizens and businesses during flooding or the threat of flooding.
  • In the rivers region, the new protection level can be achieved by strengthening the dikes as well as through river widening. Insight will be provided into the concrete choices in the DP2015. This will involve customised solutions for each area.
  • Additional strengthening of the dikes along the Lek seems to be more cost effective than raising the level of all category C defences in the central Netherlands.
  • The winter water level in the IJsselmeer region can remain at the current level up until 2050. The tasks in terms of water safety and the freshwater supply can be tackled effectively with a combination of sluicing, pumping and flexible water-level management. Significant rises in the water level in line with the rising sea level will not be a realistic option even after 2050.
  • In the South-western Delta, stakeholders are preparing a national spatial vision on the future of the Grevelingen and the Volkerak-Zoommeer. Among other things, this vision answers the question of whether storage of the river water in the Grevelingen is desirable for the safety of the Rhine Estuary area. This work is being done in alignment with work on the Delta Decision on the Rhine-Meuse Delta.
  • Along the coast, measures for safety and those for economic development can be combined. An integrated approach is bearing fruit.
  • The Delta Programme proposes an Adaptive Agenda for Sand for the coast, including the South-western Delta and the Wadden Region, aimed at land conservation and achieving sustainable water safety.