Preferential Strategy for the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden Region

The ambitions for the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden Region under the national Delta Programme have been elaborated into a Preferential Strategy.

The Preferential Strategy for the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden Region is underpinned by the Delta Decisions on Flood Risk Management, on the Rhine-Meuse Delta, on Spatial Adaptation, and on Freshwater Supply. The Preferential Strategy primarily pertains to flood risk management and additionally addresses freshwater supply and spatial adaptation. Attention is also paid to flood impact reduction through spatial planning and to disaster control.

Flood risk management

The current system of dykes and open closable storm surge barriers provides a sound foundation for the decades ahead. The eastern part of the area offers room for river widening. The challenge is keeping the option of future dyke improvements open, whilst urbanisation continues in this densely built-up area. This is achieved through early coordination and integration of the taskings relating to dykes and spatial developments.
In addition, the Strategy covers flood impact reduction in the floodplains and the areas behind the dykes. In the years ahead, specific attention will be focused on the flood-conscious planning of new residential areas and on provisions for vital and vulnerable functions.

Freshwater supply

The Freshwater Supply Strategy is aimed at rendering the western part of the Netherlands resilient against situations involving a limited supply of freshwater, as occurred in 2018. Although major infrastructure interventions will not be required in the decades ahead, measures will be implemented under projects such as Smart Water Management and Climate-proof Main Water System Freshwater Supply. 
The region is also taking measures to accommodate the additional water demand ensuing from climate change and societal developments.

Spatial adaptation

West-Netherlands has also embarked on spatial adaptation. Several large cities and the province of Zuid-Holland have embedded climate adaptation in their policies. In each new development, climate adaptation is taken into account. Climate-proof new construction projects are being field-tested in areas spread across the region. Climate adaptation is also being incorporated into the urbanisation strategy.

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