Water as a starting point in physical planning, and collaboration on a future-proof area. These are important ambitions from design water management program of the Stichtse Rijnlanden for the next six years. It will be available for inspection in the next nine weeks; Anyone can give their reaction until Monday, September 13th.
The Netherlands will face major social challenges in the coming years. The rate of climate change is unparalleled and the effects (extreme drought and extreme rainfall) are already visible. Biodiversity is also declining faster than at any point in human history. To combat this, an energy transition is underway, we must switch to a climate-friendly design, a circular economy and more sustainable agriculture. Water plays a role in all of these challenges. In addition, there is a major housing challenge, especially in the province of Utrecht. Together, these tasks put a lot of pressure on the site.
“As a water council, we will be more at the helm to give water a guiding role in spatial planning.”says Els Otterman and Jeroen Haan, Vandrådet and Dikegraaf from De Stichtse Rijnlanden. “We call it working upstream, focused on the future. How exactly should this be done? We do not have a complete answer to that, but we would like to find out together with our partners. We invest ourselves, in our own areas, “In biodiversity, circularity and sustainability, we ask others to do the same. We encourage water-conscious behavior and thereby demand something from our residents, and at the same time we are fully concerned with a safe, healthy and comfortable living environment for all.”
To be equipped for the future, we invest in our water system, and we work with partners on common social tasks:
- In the coming years, the water council will strengthen the dike along Lek; this project Strong Lekdijk offers opportunities for greenery and landscape. In addition, we ask our partners to address the consequences of floods through spatial planning (2nd tier of flood risk management);
- During extremely dry periods, the water supply via the De Stichtse Rijnlandens water system is crucial for the fresh water supply in western Holland. We will increase this supply capacity in the coming years through the Capacity Expansion Climate-Proof Water Supply (KWA +) project. We will secure the inlet from the Lower Rhine at Wijk bij Duurstede even at extremely low river water levels by building an inlet pumping station;
- For a large part of the region, the water is discharged via the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, which has limited space to absorb more extreme showers. It is necessary to optimize the water system and reduce its dependence on it through a more waterproof design of cities and polders;
- Improve water quality and increase biodiversity. We strive for clean and lively water everywhere: healthy water in the city, lively farm ditches and natural water filled with life. This is required by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and is necessary for a robust, healthy and comfortable living environment. For each category, we collaborate with the relevant partners;
- Heat and raw materials from (waste) water. Thermal energy from surface water (TEO) and wastewater (TEA) has lots of potential and opportunities in our region due to the large housing development task along large watercourses. We encourage the use of heat and raw materials from (waste) water.
Water management in practice
The design water management program places great emphasis on the future. But the day-to-day management work outside, together with our partners, is also discussed. Through six portraits of employees, readers get an impression of (the changes in) water management. Meet Sienke Lodiers, Renske Anema Daan Berkouwer Wim Hakkesteegt, Oscar Meijer and Dick den Hartog.
Feasible and affordable
The draft water management program sets out the Danish Water Agency’s ambitions for the next six years. To ensure that the ambitions do not stop there, the strategic agenda with ten strategic lines has been further elaborated, and the financial consequences of the plans have been incorporated in the Spring Memorandum 2021, the Danish Water Agency’s multi-year financial estimate.
The spring memo shows that most of the ambitions are achievable. It was still something of a puzzle because social tasks like urbanization, energy and a sustainable future for agriculture and nature are less economically predictable than the traditional tasks with dry feet, safe dikes and clean water. By making phase plans over time, they fit into the financial agreements, such as a maximum cost increase on water board costs of 4%.
More information or answers to the draft water management program?
The draft water management program 2022-2027 can be found at hdsr.nl/waterbeheerprogramma. It is available for inspection from July 13 to September 13, 2021. Anyone can respond during that period.