Delta Programme 2015

The fifth Delta Programme (DP2015) was presented to the House of Representatives in 2014 on Prinsjesdag (the state opening of parliament) along with the Delta Fund budget. 

Main lines for water safety and the freshwater supply

The fifth Delta Programme contains the final proposals for five Delta Decisions for improving flood protection and reducing water shortages. The Delta Decisions lead to a new working method in three areas: water safety, the availability of fresh water and water-robust spatial planning.

The Delta Commissioner proposes that a risk-based approach be applied in water policy. This means taking into account the risk of flooding and the ensuing consequences. He is also proposing new standards for flood defences. These new standards are aimed at reducing the risk of death due to floods anywhere in the Netherlands to 1:100,000 (0.001 per cent) a year. A higher level of protection will apply in certain places where many casualties or significant economic loss could occur, or where “vital infrastructure” could be disrupted and affect the whole country (for example, the gas hub in Groningen). The aim is for all primary flood defences to meet the new standards in 2050.

Delta Programme 2015

In the Netherlands, freshwater shortages may occur more often as water consumption rises and the climate changes. Some 15% to 20% of our economy is dependent on a good freshwater supply. The Delta Commissioner proposes keeping the freshwater supply at an adequate level through the collective efforts of all authorities and the consumers of water. The authorities will provide more transparency regarding the availability of water by agreeing supply levels. This approach will be introduced in the years ahead.

Spatial planning will become more climate-proof and water-robust. The authorities will work together to this end, so that the built environment will be more resistant to heat, drought and excess water and there will be no additional risk of loss or casualties during (re)development. The national government will ensure that national vital and vulnerable functions (like power stations) are made more flood-proof. The aim is that in 2050 the Netherlands will be as climate-proof and water-robust as possible.

Five Delta Decisions

We need national frameworks to be able to put the new approach into practice. Since 2010, the Delta Programme has been working towards these frameworks, step by step, in collaboration with the authorities, civil society organisations and the business community. These efforts resulted in proposals for five “Delta Decisions” which have wide support:

  • Delta Decision on Water Safety: a new approach to protecting people and the economy from floods;
  • Delta Decision on the Freshwater Supply: a new approach to limiting water shortages and using the freshwater supply optimally in the economy and public utilities;
  • Delta Decision on Spatial Adaptation: a new, targeted approach to water-robust and climate-proof (re)development in the built environment;
  • Delta Decision on the Rhine-Meuse Delta: choices with a structuring effect on water safety in the Rhine-Meuse Delta;
  • Delta Decision on the IJsselmeer Region: choices with a structuring effect on water safety and the freshwater supply in the IJsselmeer Region.

Supplementary to the above, the Delta Commissioner has proposed a strategic Decision on Sand, with choices involving the use of beach nourishment along the coast.

The Delta Decisions mark the start of a well-considered follow-up to our work on the delta. The Delta Commissioner will report on progress every year, as set down in the Delta Act.