Since the launch of the Delta Programme, the national government, water authorities, and provincial and municipal authorities have been working together in an innovative way with input from knowledge institutes, stakeholder organisations, business and citizens. This work covers three themes: Flood Risk Management, Fresh Water and Spatial Adaptation. The joint approach is implemented in national and regional contexts. 

The core of the Delta Programme is a national approach, with room for regional interpretation and the involvement of all parties. The national government, provincial and municipal authorities and water authorities have shared responsibility and shared ownership. 

Area-specific collaboration and implementation

The regional administrative alliances of the government authorities are of major importance for the discussion of the delta agendas in conjunction with other area agendas. The scope of the agendas and their elaboration varies from area to area and so administrative engagement also varies depending on the region and theme in question. 

Each agenda in the Delta Programme – flood risk management, fresh water and spatial adaptation – has specific, logical, regional boundaries with a corresponding administrative agenda, with the authorities concerned organising support arrangements. The main tasks involve the implementation and further elaboration of the Delta Decisions and preferred strategies, informing the Delta Commissioner about progress and submitting recommendations about the annual proposal for the Delta Programme. The administrative consultation platforms for the IJsselmeer area and Southwest Delta discuss flood risk management, fresh water and spatial adaptation. In 2023, Central Holland is completing the process of being represented as an area in the Delta Programme. 

Delta Programme Steering Group 

At the national level, the Delta Programme Steering Group provides administrative embedding and recommendations for the Delta Commissioner. The steering group includes directors of the umbrella organisations of provincial and municipal authorities, and water authorities, the chairs of the area consultation platforms and the directors-general of the ministries concerned. The ministries are the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (including Rijkswaterstaat), the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The Delta Commissioner chairs the Delta Programme Steering Group.  

Generic themes

The way in which the three themes are coordinated administratively varies from theme to theme. 

  • The Flood Risk Management Policy Platform (BPWV) was established in 2019 for flood risk management. The central focus of the BPWV is on the national policy for flood risk management in the short and long term. The BPWV advises the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Delta Commissioner and the Delta Programme Steering Group, for example about the links between flood risk management and other themes, and area-specific preferred strategies. 
  • In the area of fresh water, the Freshwater Administrative Platform (BPZ) is the coordinating administrative body for the six freshwater regions and the main water system. In addition, the BPZ is responsible for the Freshwater Delta Decision and the Freshwater Delta Plan. 
  • The Spatial Adaptation Steering Group fulfils this function for the elaboration of this topic and is responsible for the Delta Plan for Spatial Adaptation.  

Flood risk management

Seven area consultation platforms are currently active in the area of flood risk management: the national Coast consultation platform, the Wadden area administrative consultation platform, the Southwest Delta area consultation platform, the IJsselmeer area administrative platform, the Rhine administrative platform, the Delta Programme Steering Group for the Meuse and the Rhine Estuary/Drecht Towns area consultation platform (see map). The area consultation platforms make sure there is coordination about transitional areas such as the IJssel-Vecht delta, Alblasserwaard and Krimpenerwaard, and the Amsterdam region. 

The Flood Protection Programme (HWBP) plays a central role in the implementation of measures relating to flood risk management. The HWBP programme directorate, an alliance between water authorities and Rijkswaterstaat, provides coordinated programming.  

The national government and regional organisations have established an Integral River Management (IRM) programme for the rivers. The goal is to work together on identifying the agendas for flood risk management, water quality, navigability, freshwater availability, nature, and spatial and economic quality. The IRM programme also ensures that the challenges are addressed in a coordinated way and that the approach is anchored in a policy framework, including a programme of measures working towards sustainable planning and management for Dutch rivers. The administrative coordination of IRM goes through the IRM Steering Group, on which the Rhine Administrative Platform, the Delta Programme Steering Group for the Meuse and the Delta Commissioner are represented. 

Fresh water

Six freshwater regions (see map) and Rijkswaterstaat (for the main water system) are working on the elaboration of the Freshwater Delta Decision and the implementation of the Freshwater Delta Plan. Consultations about fresh water in the High-Lying Areas with Sandy Soils (East), High-Lying Areas with Sandy Soils (South), the River Area, the Western Netherlands and Northern Netherlands take place in regional administrative consultation platforms (RBOs). In most regions, fresh water is linked to spatial adaptation and water quality. The IJsselmeer Area Administrative Platform and the Southwest Delta Area Consultation Platform discuss flood risk management, fresh water and spatial adaptation. The Freshwater Programming Office prepares the programming for the freshwater measures. The government authorities and regions work together here. 

Spatial adaptation

The ambitions, agreements and actions in the Delta Plan for Spatial Adaptation require intensive collaboration between all government authorities. The partners have agreed to base their joint activities – particularly in the area of implementation – on a country-wide classification consisting of 45 working regions (see map). Together, the authorities in a working region map out the vulnerabilities to problems with excess water, heat, water shortages and flooding, set the ambition relating to the reduction of vulnerability in consultation with citizens, business and stakeholder organisations, and implement measures to this end. The working regions monitor progress for the benefit of their own local administrative authorities. Seven area consultation platforms (see map) report on progress with respect to spatial adaptation on the basis of that information for the purposes of the Delta Commissioner’s annual progress report. Area consultations further coordination with the other agendas of the Delta Programme (flood risk management and freshwater supplies). 

Transboundary transitional areas

Consultations in the area of all themes related to transboundary transitional areas take place in the international catchment committees, the Knowledge Programme for Transboundary River Discharges and Discharge Distribution, and the bilateral cross-border alliances. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management coordinates these consultations.