Delta Decision on Flood Risk Management legally embedded
The Netherlands is going to implement new flood risk management standards for its dykes, dams, and dunes. Rather than focusing only on flood risk, the new approach will also factor in the impact of a flood. Today, the Senate unanimously approved the proposal submitted by Minister Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and the Environment. The new approach has been developed within the framework of the Delta Programme. Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken: ‘I am very happy with this final parliamentary approval of our new flood risk management policy.’
Every resident in the Netherlands will at least have the same minimum level of flood protection. The applicable safety standards have been established by examining the risks: both the probability of flooding and the impact of a flood. Furthermore, additional and targeted investments will be made in areas in which a flood would entail the risk of large numbers of casualties and major economic damage. Additional attention will be paid to vital and vulnerable infrastructure, such as utilities and hospitals.
The amendment will come into effect on 1 January 2017. Subsequently, the district water boards and Rijkswaterstaat can start strengthening the dykes and dunes. Their efforts must be completed by 2050. By then, the new standards will have raised the flood protection level of the Netherlands.