Measures pertaining to the IJsselmeer Region

Within the national Delta Programme, significant progress has been made over recent years in terms of the preservation and enhancement of the functions of the IJsselmeer Region. The agenda for the years ahead also features new projects.

The Delta Plans on Flood Risk Management, Freshwater Supply, and Spatial Adaptation comprise a range of measures and projects specifically pertaining to the IJsselmeer Region.

Milestones of the past six years

Over the past six years, significant strides have been made with respect to the implementation of measures in the IJsselmeer Region. Some of the milestones:

  • Since 2018, Rijkswaterstaat has been enforcing a flexible summer water level in Lake IJsselmeer and Lake Markermeer. This enables the creation of an additional freshwater supply of 400 million cubic metres in the summer.
  • In 2018, work on the IJsselmeer Closure Dam commenced. The dam will be improved along its entire length, and storm surge barriers will be constructed in the two lock complexes. The lock complex near Den Oever will be fitted with additional sluices and two large pumping stations to enable increased discharge into the Wadden Sea. 
  • On 18 June 2019, the report on the integrated study into flood risk management and water level management in the IJsselmeer Region was presented to the House of Representatives. The study has mapped out scenarios for long-term water level management (2050-2175). The results provide guidelines for water discharge, flood protection, and water level management after 2050.
  • The Houtrib dyke between Enkhuizen and Lelystad has met the new flood protection standards since 2020. 
  • In 2020, important administrative agreements were set down regarding the freshwater distribution. Concrete results are the the IJsselmeer Region Joint Fact-Finding Process, the updating of the North Netherlands Water Distribution (completion scheduled for December 2020), and the Water Demand Forecast Tool. The IJsselmeer Region Administrative Platform has thus substantiated several important recommendations of the Drought Policy Platform. 
  • Sixty parties have signed the IJsselmeer Region Agenda for 2050 . Under this Agenda, the parties aim to prepare the IJsselmeer Region for the future. In addition to water-related issues, the Agenda addresses spatial quality and cultural history, the energy transition, leisure activities, tourism, and urbanisation. The implementation of the Agenda is coordinated by the IJsselmeer Region Administrative Platform.

Plans for the six years ahead

The next six years will see the roll-out of projects and activities aimed at the realisation of the Delta Decision and the Delta Strategy for the IJsselmeer Region. Noteworthy milestones for the period 2021 up to and including 2026 include:

  • In a few years’ time, improvement of the IJsselmeer Closure Dam will be completed. The improved dam will have a larger gravity-driven discharge capacity and additional pumping capacity. 
  • In 2026, a study will be conducted to identify the additional freshwater supply measures – including measures aimed at spatial aspects – required to keep the IJsselmeer Region climate-proof in the long run. By then, options will have been mapped out for ensuring sufficient water supply to Lake Markermeer in times of extreme drought.
  • Optimisation of the regional water system will continue in the six years ahead, among other ways by setting up comprehensive regional programmes for brook restoration, sandy soils strategies, and flexible water level management. 
  • The region will continue to advocate water awareness and water savings among consumers.
  • Under the Major Waters Programme Strategy, planning measures will be implemented to restore or develop ecological values, in coordination with the Delta Programme measures. 
  • Expertise and research will remain important; the study into the IJsselmeer Region in the period 2021-2026 is featured in the Delta Programme Knowledge Agenda.

Integrated nature

All the stakeholders are doing their utmost to tackle the three Delta Programme taskings in an interconnected manner, wherever possible tying in with other issues, such as climate mitigation, the circular economy, and other transitions. This has been set down in the IJsselmeer Region Agenda for 2050.