Flood Risk Management

Some 60% of the Netherlands is prone to flooding. These areas accommodate nine million people and the bulk of our gross national product is earned here. Consequently, working on flood protection is a continuous necessity in the Netherlands. This is why, in the context of the Delta Programme, the Delta Decision on Flood Risk Management has been prepared in recent years, together with all the stakeholders involved.

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New insights, greater safety

The Delta Decision on Flood Risk Management will provide every individual behind the dykes or dunes with the same level of protection: the probability of individual mortality as a result of flooding must not exceed 1:100,000 per annum. Higher protection levels apply in areas where flooding may cause major damage (in terms of large numbers of victims or economic loss). These goals have been translated into new standards for the dykes, dunes, and dams protecting our country against flooding from the sea, the major rivers, and the large lakes. This means that flood risk management is tackled in a more focused and more effective manner, offering more protection for people and the economy. The new flood risk management policy is future-oriented and looks ahead to the situation expected for 2050. The aim is for all the flood defence systems to meet the new standards by then. Would you like to know more about the new flood risk management policy? Click here to view a short animated film on the new approach.

New standards in the Water Act

The standards to be met by dykes and dunes have been set down in the Water Act. This Act is now being amended in order to anchor the new standards. The amended Water Act is expected to come into force on 1 January 2017. 

New tools and tasking up to 2050

Setting down the new standards does not mean that our work is done. In order to be able to apply the new standards, the central government is developing an instrument, together with the district water boards, to assess the safety of the dykes, dunes and dams once every 12 years in accordance with the new method. The new assessment method works from coarse to fine: simple wherever it is possible and detailed wherever it is necessary. The dyke and dune managers will commence their assessment in 2017. By 2023, this will yield a national picture of dyke improvement tasking up to 2050. Dyke sections that do not meet the new standards will be tackled before 2050. In most cases, this will involve dyke or dune improvements, or creating more room for rivers. These measures will be implemented under the Flood Protection Programme.

Delta Programme 2017

To view the progress made regarding flood risk management, click here: Flood Risk Management in Delta Programme 2017. The schedule of studies and projects can be found in Appendix 1, Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management.