Members & projects
The Netherlands is a low-lying country, downstream from four international rivers: the Rhine; Meuse; Scheldt; and Eems. Flood protection has been a prerequisite for settlement and socio-economic development for centuries. Democratic water authorities were established in the 12th century. Since then the Western part of the Netherlands has developed into one large urban delta region, including the cities of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the Hague. 60% of the Dutch population lives in this delta, which is up to 6 meters below sea level, and two-thirds of GNP is produced in this area.
The Dutch have developed a broad range of technical and organizational measures to protect against flooding. This includes infrastructural solutions such as the 1st Deltaplan, and programmes like “Room for the River”. An overview of the present Dutch water policy is reflected in the National Water Plan [National Water Plan 2016-2021 – Government.nl] and the Delta Programme. Further, the Netherlands cooperates on water issues with bilateral partners and in multilateral organizations all over the world.