Knowledge development

Knowledge is crucial in the national Delta Programme. Knowledge constitutes the basis for important decisions on, e.g., the safety, the economy, and the living environment of the Netherlands. Consequently, the national Delta Programme focuses a great deal of attention on the application, development, and sharing of knowledge. 

The National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme

The Netherlands intends to be and remain a worldwide front runner in the field of water management. By rendering our country water-resilient and climate-proof, we will make our mark at the international level. Being and remaining a front runner entails continuous innovation and knowledge development. The Delta Programme is pursuing this in the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme, along with government authorities and research institutes. In-depth knowledge issues from the knowledge agenda will be passed on to this Programme, where they will be addressed in an effective and efficient manner. The outcomes may be of interest to the business community.

The Delta Instruments

It is important for the decisions, strategies, and measures set out in the Delta Programme to be properly substantiated. The Delta Instruments have been developed to ensure that all the Delta Programme sub-programmes use the same up-to-date knowledge and methods. The Instruments comprise:

The National Water Model

The Delta Programme uses this model to develop its forecasts and conduct water-related analyses in fields such as flood risk management, freshwater supply, and water quality. 

The Delta Scenarios

The Delta Programme is looking ahead to 2050 and 2100, and sketches potential perspectives for the future. What will the climate be like 30 years from now and what socio-economic developments can we expect 80 years from now? Working with several perspectives for the future ensures that the Netherlands will be well prepared.

The Delta Scenarios provide qualitative and quantitative information on the climate, water systems, water consumption, and land use. The qualitative information consists of story lines and maps. The quantitative data consists of indicators and time series pertaining to factors such as temperature, precipitation, soil subsidence, and salinisation.

Increasingly more signs indicate that the sea level may be rising at a pace faster than originally assumed in the Delta Scenarios. The probability of severe downpours and prolonged drought also appears greater than originally assumed. In 2023, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI will present new climate scenarios. The Delta Scenarios will be updated accordingly.

Delta Facts, knowledge conferences, and knowledge network

Knowledge sharing is equally as important as knowledge development. Knowledge is shared in several ways:

Delta Facts

The Delta Facts are online knowledge dossiers featuring a brief summary of the knowledge available regarding a particular question. Existing knowledge has been compiled in a simple manner. Water managing authorities may use this information when making choices. The Delta Facts have been developed under the Delta-proof programme initiated by the Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA and the collaborating district water boards.

Knowledge conferences

Since 2011, annual knowledge conferences have been held. Since 2015, the conferences have been organised by the National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme. At the conferences, stock is taken: what do we know, what knowledge is being developed, and what knowledge do we still require?

Delta Programme Knowledge Network

This network consists of representatives of the topics and regions addressed by the Delta Programme. They keep close contact with representatives of research institutes. The meetings address the need for, the supply of, and the dissemination of knowledge. Participating research institutes include Deltares, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PBL, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI, the Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA, Delft University of Technology, and Wageningen University and Research Centre.

Knowledge Agenda

An optimum implementation of the Delta Programme requires innovations and answers to knowledge questions. These are compiled in the Knowledge Agenda. The Agenda features application-oriented knowledge, (technological) innovations, and in-depth research. Once every two years, the Agenda is updated and included in the Delta Programme

The knowledge issues from the Knowledge Agenda are also incorporated into knowledge development programmes of bodies such as the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat [the executive branch of said Ministry], and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI. The elaboration of the issues has already underpinned the new knowledge and innovation agenda, contracts commissioned by the Top Sector Water, and water-related and climate-related questions in the Blue Route of the National Science Agenda.