Second Dutch Delta Congress 2011
The Dutch Delta Congress focused on the report about the Delta Programme for the year 2012, as presented september 2011 to parliament on Prinsjesdag [the state opening of parliament in the Netherlands]. The second Dutch Delta Congress was part of the International Water Week 2011.
Second Dutch Delta Congress
Prime Minister: “The Delta Programme is unique in the world.”
On Thursday 3 November 2011 the second Dutch Delta Congress was held in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre. The conference was focused on the Second Delta Programme (DP2012), which was published on Prinsjesdag [the state opening of parliament in the Netherlands]. The key questions it presents are how we can keep our country safe from flooding and ensure a sufficient supply of freshwater, now as well as in the future. The more than 1200 visitors were welcomed by Delta Commissioner Wim Kuijken. Dutch Prime Minister Marc Rutte was present as well. He opened the Delta Parade in the afternoon and called the work on the Delta Programme “unique in the world”.
After the opening, State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment Joop Atsma (right) outlined the results achieved in the past year: the adoption of the Delta Act by the House of Representatives and the Administrative Agreement on Water Affairs that the government has reached with the provinces, municipalities, water boards and drinking water companies. The Administrative Agreement secures the funding for the second High Water Protection Programme, which aims to bring our dikes and dunes up to standard. In addition to water safety, safeguarding our fresh-water supply must also remain high on our agenda. The dry spell earlier this year illustrates that we cannot take a sufficient supply of freshwater for granted. Water safety and fresh-water security are our themes for the future.
Coherence is essential
In the morning, a number of prominent speakers discussed the opportunities and risks involved in the Delta Programme approach. In the photo: Dutch ambassador to the United States Renée Bos-Jones is being interviewd.
This was followed by a pep talk from Marc Lammers, the coach of the Dutch women’s field hockey team. “Base your strategy on your strengths. Aim for a 10 rather than an 8!”
Debates were held regarding the opportunities the Delta Programme offers for the Water Top Sector and vice versa. The main thing is cohesion, in collaborative efforts as well as in linking functions such as water issues and spatial planning. Following this debate, creative artist Ap Verheggen took the stage with an inspiring talk entitled Climate Change Equals Culture Change.
In the afternoon, the Prime Minister opened the Delta Parade in which the nine sub-programmes presented themselves in an interactive and original manner. The venue for this year’s Delta Parade was the major Integrated Aqua Solutions exhibition within the framework of the International Water Week, of which the second National Delta Conference formed a part.
Meanwhile, the discussions continued in the plenary meeting room. The topics addressed were Water and Drought, Adaptive Delta Management, and Safety in Theory and Practice. Water poet Niels Blomberg provided a poetic close to the conference.
Delta Commissioner Wim Kuijken considers the conference a huge success: “The presence of the Prime Minister and the State Secretary, the large number of visitors, their commitment and the enthusiasm displayed in the discussions on the Delta Programme clearly demonstrate that everyone appreciates the urgency of the issues we are working on: protecting our country from flooding and securing our fresh-water supply, now and in the future.”
See the Congress in photos on Flickr.