Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management

The Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management comprises all the Delta Programme studies, measures and provisions aimed at protecting the Netherlands from flooding. The schedule has been substantiated for the next six years; the schedule for the subsequent six years has been outlined. The Plan also looks ahead to 2050.

The measures are largely funded from the Delta Fund. The district water boards and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management each fund 50 per cent of the costs of dyke improvements implemented under the Flood Protection Programme . In some cases, projects are co-funded by regional parties. A full list of measures is provided in the Delta Programme.

Implementation programmes

The Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management outlines the progress, scheduling, planning, and phasing of the flood risk management projects. The projects are carried out under several implementation projects. Sand replenishments along the coast fall under management and maintenance; consequently, they do not feature in the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management. The scheduled replenishment projects are listed in the Coastline Maintenance Implementation Programme .

Flood Protection Programme

The Flood Protection Programme is an ongoing programme; the measures are scheduled for a period of six years, with a tentative schedule for the following six years. Under the Flood Protection Programme, the 21 district water boards of the Netherlands are collaborating with Rijkswaterstaat – the executive branch of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management – in pursuit of flood-proofing the Netherlands. The programme is aimed at having all primary flood defence systems meet the new standards by 2050. This will ensure a minimum protection level of 1 in 100,000 (0.001%) per annum for every resident of the Netherlands living behind a primary dyke or dam by no later than 2050. Nearly 1,300 kilometres of dykes and nearly 500 sluices and pumping stations will be improved. The Flood Protection Programme also features knowledge development and innovation projects.

Other projects

The Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management also covers other programmes and projects. For example, the Foreshores Deposits programme involves stone deposits at 27 locations in the province of Zeeland to improve the foreshores of the flood defences. By 2026, the foreshores of all the locations must have been reinforced.

Another example is the IJsselmeer Closure Dam (Afsluitdijk) project. Its renovation commenced in 2018; the project is aimed at improvement of the dam and at expansion of the IJsselmeer discharge capacity. The full length of the dam will be improved in an innovative manner, floodgates will be constructed in the navigation locks, and the sluices will be reinforced. New pumping stations and sluices will be added. This project is being carried out under the De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk  programme, which also comprises projects initiated by regional partners.

River widening in interconnection with dyke improvement

In order to meet the flood protection standards, the rivers Rhine and the Meuse must have sufficient capacity to discharge river water to the sea. This is crucial for all the stakeholders and activities in the area around the major rivers. As a result of climate change, severe rain and high water levels will occur more frequently, requiring the rivers to discharge more water. That is why the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management features a combination of dyke improvement and river widening. This combination is being substantiated in the new Integrated River Management programme (IRM), under which integrated measures are being prepared that will be effective in both high water level and low water level situations.

State Flood Defences Programme

Rijkswaterstaat is in charge of 530 kilometres of regional state flood defences and 211 kilometres of primary flood defences, including the six Dutch storm surge barriers. Rijkswaterstaat is drawing up a strategy for the improvement of its primary and regional flood defences. Under the Delta Fund, a sum of more than EUR 800 million is available for such improvements. In 2019, a programme was elaborated to this end . The National State Flood Defences Programme Team is supporting the seven Rijkswaterstaat regions in these efforts.