Delta Conference 2020 in Maastricht

In these times of immediate crisis and concerns about the outbreak of the corona virus, working on the long-term Delta Programme taskings seems relative. Yet it is important for the work on flood risk management, freshwater availability, and the liveability of our vulnerable Dutch delta to continue.

Image: ©Rijksoverheid (foto: Marc C.M. Schols)

Subject to the measures that may yet be implemented, we would like to announce that the eleventh National Delta Conference will be held in the MECC Maastricht conference centre on Thursday, 12 November 2020. This year we are once more expecting more than 1500 delegates. Everyone who is involved in and interested in the Delta Programme is most welcome to attend the conference: NGOs, the business community, knowledge institutes, and government bodies.

Maastricht: excellent location

Upon the announcement of the location, Delta Programme Commissioner Peter Glas stated: ‘I am extremely pleased that this year we have selected Maastricht as the venue for our annual National Delta Conference. An excellent location for meeting the delta community. This year, it will have been 25 years since the areas around the major rivers were confronted with high water. The province of Limburg was even affected twice within a short period of time, viz. both in 1993 and in 1995. It seems rather long ago, but the impact is still making itself felt, not only in the memories of those who lived through it, but also in the projects being implemented under the Delta Programme and the Flood Protection Programme. We are continuously facing new challenges: in terms of flood risk management, considering a potential acceleration in sea level rise; in terms of freshwater availability in times of drought; and in terms of pursuing spatial adaptation in order to protect ourselves against climate change and weather extremes. Delta Programme 2021, which will be presented to the House of Representatives during the state opening of Parliament in September, will also comprise the first review of the Delta Decisions and Delta Strategies that were drawn up in 2014. In the areas around the major rivers, the Integrated River Management (IRM) Programme is in full swing. In short: there are ample topics to discuss and I am looking forward to welcoming you all in Maastricht on 12 November.’

Carla Brugman, member of the Provincial Executive, conveys her pride in the MECC as the venue for the 11th Delta Conference. ‘Climate change is forcing us to change the way we think. We are facing a major challenge. The water system must be adapted in order to be able to accommodate weather extremes. This is a task that we must shoulder collectively, with a wide range of parties. It is fantastic to have the Delta Conference 2020 take place in our province. Many people are unaware of the fact that Limburg has water in abundance. It is wonderful that soon, everyone who is involved in the Delta Programme will be able to exchange knowledge in Maastricht.’

Water board council chair Patrick van der Broeck also bids everyone a cordial welcome to Limburg. ‘It is great that the 11th Delta Conference will be taking place in Limburg, a beautiful province with the river Meuse as its main artery, and epitomised by cities and villages. The largest river widening programme of western Europe is being carried out here: the Grensmaas. Moreover, Limburg is the first province in the Netherlands to have 20 km of dykes hidden in the landscape. Be inspired and enjoy Limburg!’


Following a substantive plenary opening session, the afternoon will see interactive parallel sessions focused on the various Delta Programme themes. Similar to last year’s conference, the day’s schedule will also feature several smaller sessions and presentations. At the Delta Parade, the organisations involved in the Delta Programme will present their programmes. It is here that the delegates can read about, view or listen to the latest developments concerning the Delta Programme. Once more, a separate programme will be set up for students and Young Professionals. And of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and exchange experience in an informal manner.

The final programme will be announced in September, along with the invitation.