Keynote 8 - The Dutch Delta Programme

Bart Parmet, Wim Kuijken

Tuesday 30 june 2015

13:30 - 14:00h at Amazon (level 1)

Themes: Keynote

Parallel session: Keynotes 7 & 8

The Delta Programme implements strategies that are aimed at protecting the Netherlands against flooding and maintaining an adequate fresh water supply, while anticipating climate change. The programme was launched in 2010 and is aimed at avoiding floods or droughts, rather than responding to such a disaster after it occurred. This requires a multi-governmental approach, strategies dealing with uncertainty and adequate institutional arrangements to guarantee future climate-proof implementation. In 2014 the Delta Programme resulted in updated standards for flood protection, a policy framework regarding fresh water supply, recommendations regarding flood-proof urban (re)development and efforts to improve disaster management. The next step is the elaboration and implementation of the necessary measures, framing them into the long-term perspective of socio-economic developments and climate change. The multifunctional design of these measures has been stimulated, since this increases societal “added value” (regarding nature, recreation or urban development) and enhances their acceptance. Within the Delta Programme one of the largest challenges is dealing with uncertainties about the future climate, population, economy and society. The Delta Programme tries to tackle uncertainty by an adaptive way of planning i.e. maximizing flexibility, keeping options open and avoiding “lock in”. This requires adaptive strategies, flexible measures and a dedicated monitoring programme. The Delta Commissioner directs this multi-governmental process of policy development and implementation, monitors progress, reports to Parliament every year in September and takes the necessary steps when problems arise. From 2020 onwards, a Delta Fund of about 1 billion euros per year will provide stability in financial resources, reducing dependency on economic developments and securing continuous political priority. The new Delta Act forms the legal basis for the implementation of the programme, the responsibilities of the Commissioner and the Delta Fund. Keywords: the Netherlands, flood risk management, fresh water supply, climate change, adaptive strategies