Sustainable Management of Large Water Bodies

The Netherlands is a delta and a hot spot of socio-economic development. Deltas all over the world are facing enormous challenges as a consequence of population growth, urbanisation, climate change, rising sea levels, an increase in meteorological and hydrological extremes, salinisation and soil subsidence. Coping with these changes is termed resilience.

Sustainable Management of Large Water Bodies
Photo: Siebe Swart / Hollandse Hoogte

The Netherlands has six large water bodies: the area around the major rivers, the Southwest Delta, the coastal zone, the Wadden Region, the IJsselmeer lake and the North Sea. In recent years the ecological resilience of these large water bodies has been jeopardised, because the natural ecological, morphological and hydrodynamic processes in the large water bodies have changed or been restrained. The Sustainable Management of Large Water Bodies research track is geared towards operationalising the concept of ecological resilience and encouraging thinking resilience.

Various knowledge institutes and the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) are working on a model that provides an answer to the question of how the resilience of the large water bodies can be improved. The ‘Resilience Community of Practice’ shares and draws out new insights so that they can be applied in practice. It also seeks to link up with national and international programmes, such as the Delta approach to water quality and fresh water, the EU project LIFE IP Delta nature, and the comprehensive area agendas to be developed for the large water bodies. The ultimate aims are to preserve the unique delta nature in the Netherlands, to ensure that the quality of the living environment improves, and to give impetus to the future use and management of the large water bodies.

If you would like to know more about the Sustainable Management of Large Water Bodies, please feel free to contact Joost Backx / joost.backx@rws.nl