Rhine Delta Programme measures

At various locations along the Rhine tributaries, flood risk management measures are already being implemented or prepared. Dyke improvements are carried out in accordance with the Flood Protection Programme (in Dutch) procedures. Major river-widening projects conform to the procedure set out by the Multi-Year Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning, and Transport (MIRT).


The dykes between Tiel and Waardenburg are in need of improvement. In 2016, the MIRT exploration Varik-Heesselt flood protection was rolled out in order to map out whether river widening, supplementary to dyke improvement, could contribute to achieving this goal. The Varik-Heesselt exploration and the Tiel-Waardenburg dyke improvement are working towards a single preferential alternative and a single integrated decision, by way of a single environmental impact assessment procedure.

In June 2018, a majority of the Varik-Heesselt Steering Group opted for the preferential alternative involving dyke improvement with nature and water compensation in the floodplains. This alternative does not feature a flood channel on the river side of the dykes. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management has indicated to endorse this preference expressed by the majority of the Steering Group. The area reservation for the flood channel set out in the General Spatial Planning Regulations Decree will be preserved in order to keep this option open for the future, in the light of adaptive delta management.

IJsselpoort River Climate Adaptation Park

A wide range of stakeholders are working on a MIRT exploration for the IJsselpoort River Climate Adaptation Park: Natuurmonumenten, Staatsbosbeheer, the Province of Gelderland, the municipalities of Arnhem, Rheden, Westervoort, and Zevenaar, Rijkswaterstaat, and the Rijn en IJssel district water board.

The exploration is intended to generate an integrated flood risk management plan, with sustainable development room for nature, recreation, and economic activity. The results of the study into the bifurcations area are also of relevance to this exploration. The exploration is expected to be completed by the spring of 2019.

Reevediep phase 2

The Reevediep is a flood channel between the River IJssel and the Drontermeer lake. Phase 1 of the Reevediep project was launched in 2015; it involved the construction of the flood channel and dredging the IJssel.

In 2015, the central government and the region decided to go ahead with the second phase as well. This phase comprises the removal of the Roggebot lock and the Roggebot flood defence system, and the construction of a new bridge in interconnection with the reconstruction of the provincial road. In addition, the Drontermeer dyke will be improved. A lock with sluice structure will be constructed in the Reeve dam, together with an adjusted inlet structure. At the Roggebot recreational area, flood protection measures will be implemented.

The measures are intended to allow the Reevediep to discharge approx. a quarter of the IJssel flood water, which will reduce the flood level between Zwolle and Kampen by 50 cm to 100 cm. The work is expected to be completed by 2022, three years ahead of schedule.

Dyke improvements

The dyke improvement tasking along the Rhine tributaries is massive and urgent. The Flood Protection Programme lists a large number of projects in the areas around the major rivers for the period 2017-2022. These dyke improvements already anticipate the new flood defence system standards that have come into force in 2017.

The water managers are discussing the scheduled dyke improvements with all the regional partners along the Rhine, in order to quickly map out linkage opportunities and discuss options for linking up with river widening. For example, the exploration regarding the Wolferen-Sprok dyke section (Waal) also examines interconnectivity with the Oosterhout dyke relocation set out in the Preferential Strategy.

Explorations or pre-explorations are currently underway for the following dyke improvements:

  • Gorinchem-Waardenburg
  • Waardenburg-Tiel
  • Central Holland general exploration
  • Wolferen-Sprok
  • Zwolle-Olst
  • Kampen and environs
  • Mastenbroek general exploration
  • Grebbe dyke