Measures relating to the Elevated Sandy Soils

Under the national Delta Programme, significant results have been achieved over recent years in terms of addressing the taskings on the Elevated Sandy Soils. The agenda for the years ahead also features new projects.

The measures pertaining to the Elevated Sandy Soils have been detailed in the Delta Plans on Flood Risk Management, Freshwater Supply, and Spatial Adaptation.

Milestones of the past six years

Under the Delta Programme, over the past six years a range of measures has been carried out on the Elevated Sandy Soils. Some milestones:

  • Over the past six years, the provinces, district water boards, municipalities, and other partners have conducted more than 300 projects at the Elevated Sandy Soils South and East, aimed at expanding the groundwater supply and reducing water consumption. 
  • Rijkswaterstaat has brought the Noordervaart capacity up to par in the purview of letting water into the Brabant and Limburg canal system. The district water boards have brought the associated regional water system up to par, in order to ensure that the water supplied can reach the “capillaries”.
  • In the dry year of 2018, the nature, historical greenery, and crops of the Elevated Sandy Soils sustained extensive damage. The measures that were implemented turned out to be effective nonetheless. The many small-scale measures in nature reserves (such as filling in ditches) and measures in the surrounding farmlands (such as level-driven drainage, water preservation in farmland ditches and brook restorations) mark the first steps towards system restoration. Without these measures, the damage would have been even greater.

Plans for the next six years: integration

The agenda for the six years ahead features several projects and activities aimed at the realisation of the Preferential Strategy for the Elevated Sandy Soils. Over recent years, the emphasis has been on seizing opportunities and on no-regret measures. In the period ahead, the focus will be on the expansion and interlinking of measures, the latter at the regional level. In the Eastern region, the focus will be on structural measures and opportunities for linkage with other regional taskings.
In several dozens of larger, interconnected areas in the Southern region, the freshwater supply and spatial adaptation strategies will be integrated. Water buffering at the Elevated Sandy Soils helps to combat drought and waterlogging, and fosters water quality. Such measures are being carried out in close consultation with the stakeholders involved. In addition, the measures are coordinated with other taskings, such as the energy transition, the agricultural transition, environmental policy, and taskings relating to the economy, liveability, and public health. 

Expertise and research

The research regarding the Elevated Sandy Soils in the period 2021-2026 is featured in the Delta Programme Knowledge Agenda. 
The Southern and Eastern regions are addressing the issues in the TKI-KLIMAP knowledge programme (the follow-up to Lumbricus, the research programme focused on a climate-resilient soil and water system). The Southern and Eastern regions will be translating the KNMI scenarios and the national bottleneck analysis to the Elevated Sandy Soils region.