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Delta Programme Commissioner meets with Youth Water Board

Communication with young people and the role that social media can play in reaching them, collaborations between the Youth Water Board and the Delta Programme, liaising between young people and projects initiated by district water boards, and structuring the Delta Conference in a manner that encourages the Delta Community to enter into a dialogue with young people: these were the topics discussed during the meeting of the Delta Programme Commissioner and nine members of the Youth Water Board, held in the CAOP centre in The Hague on 21 February. 

Jeugdwaterschappers aan tafel met deltacommissaris Wim Kuijken

Prior to the debate, Jos van Alphen, Strategy and Knowledge Consultant to the staff of the Delta Programme Commissioner, gave a presentation to the young people, addressing topics such as living in a delta, multi-layer flood risk management, governance, freshwater supply, climate change, and the vision of the future for the Netherlands in relation to water.

Following the presentation, the members of the Youth Water Board were given an opportunity to ask and tell the Delta Programme Commissioner anything they wished. This generated lively discussions about topics such as what it is like to work as a government commissioner, and about water as a secondary school subject. According to the Youth Water Board, it is important to make geography, and particularly the water component, more appealing to young people; eventually, more young people will then take an interest in the water sector and pursue a study programme in this field.

In addition, the members of the Youth Water Board are actively engaged in telling their story on various social media. With the Delta Programme Commissioner, they brainstormed on ways to reach the widest possible audience in order to tell the Netherlands about their efforts.

The Delta Programme Commissioner challenged them to review how, in their own district, they can increase interest among young people and schools in ongoing regional implementation projects regarding flood risk management, water availability, and spatial adaptation. In conclusion, the Delta Programme Commissioner made a deal with the young people on giving the Youth Water Board a more prominent role in the Delta Conference. They will meet again next year.