National Delta Congress 2021: Water as the guiding principle

This year’s National Delta Congress will take place on 11 November in MECC Maastricht conference centre. That is to say, part of the congress, because the majority of the participants will follow the event online on account of the COVID-19 measures. So, a hybrid format. The central theme of the Delta Congress is “Water as the guiding principle”.

The twelfth National Delta Congress will be held in the province of Limburg, which will add another dimension to the event because of the July flooding. It goes without saying that the floods will come up during the conference; during the plenary opening session, several Limburg residents will report on their personal experience with water. Too much water, as in last summer, or too little water as in the preceding dry years. Brecht van Hulten will be presenting the plenary programme and will interview such guests as Delta Programme Commissioner Peter Glas and council chair Patrick van den Broeck of the Limburg district water board. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management will also give a speech. In a panel discussion chaired by Brecht van Hulten, several delegates active in the spatial domain will engage in a debate on the role of water in the major spatial taskings in the Netherlands. Our keynote speaker will address European climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Two rounds, eleven sessions

In addition to an interesting plenary programme, we are offering eleven substantive parallel sessions, divided over two rounds. Some of these sessions can only be followed online. The sessions are focused on a range of themes in relation to the Delta Programme, such as Drought; Climate-proof Building and Planning; Climate Adaptation; Integrated River Management; the Major Waters Programme Strategy and Water Quality; Climate Change; and Sea Level Rise. One session provides an international perspective of the Delta Programme and another session deals with regional climate adaptation strategies.


On account of the COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no Delta Parade this year. However, the MECC complex features a meeting plaza where the participants can socialise at an appropriate distance. For our online participants, Grietje Evenwel – our Delta Congress reporter – will present a live report and interviews at the meeting plaza during the reception, luncheon, and get-together. The event also features possibilities for online chatting and speed dating.

Interested in attending the Delta Congress (online or physically)?

The invitations were sent out in early September. Dutch will be the official language during the conference; interpretation or translation services will not be provided. After the conference, the footage of the plenary opening session – as a minimum – will be subtitled in English.