This report assesses the extent to which Dutch water governance is fit for future challenges and sketches an agenda for the reform of water policies in the Netherlands. It builds on a one-year policy dialogue with over 100 Dutch stakeholders, supported by robust analytical work and drawing on international best practice.
Table of contents:
Acronyms and abbreviations 13 Executive summary 17 Assessment and recommendations 19 Chapter 1. Interlocking water management functions in the Netherlands 29 -Introduction 30 -Water management: A multi-level public responsibility 30 -Water management functions: Who does what and recent shifts 35 -Linkages across water management functions and beyond 41 -Ways forward for better interconnectedness 43 -Annex 1A.1 Water-related acts and legislation 47 -Annex 1A.2 Dutch institutional water landscape 48 -Bibliography 49 Chapter 2. Knowing water risks in the Netherlands 51 -Introduction 52 -Risk of floods and excess 53 -Risk of shortage 57 -Risk of inadequate water quality 58 -Risks to freshwater ecosystems in the “Anthropocene” 67 -Ways forward for improving knowledge of water risks and raising awareness 68 -Bibliography 72 Chapter 3. Key future trends for Dutch water governance 77 -Introduction 78 -Climate change 79 -Economic and demographic trends 80 -Socio-political trends 84 -Technological drivers 86 -Bibliography 88 Chapter 4. Multi-level water governance in the Netherlands 89 -Introduction 90 -Principles for assessing the performance of Dutch water governance 90 -Addressing multi-level governance gaps in water policy 99 -Conclusions and ways forward 126 -Annex 4.A1 Examples of inter-institutional projects for integrated water management in the Netherlands 131 -Annex 4.A2 Co-ordination mechanisms for water management 132 -Annex 4.A3 Water functions in the Netherlands: Threats, responsible authorities and co-ordination mechanisms 133 -Bibliography135 Chapter 5. Managing water risks in the Netherlands at the least cost to society 141 -Introduction 142 -Determining an acceptable level of risk: Targeting water risks 142 -Managing water risks at the least cost to society: Economic principles and instruments 151 -Managing risks of too much water 153 -Managing risks of too little water 163 -Managing risks of too polluted water 171 -Managing the risks to freshwater ecosystems 182 -Annex 5.A1 The “snowball effect” in Westergouwe 191 -Annex 5.A2 Developing an effective water-sharing regime 194 -Bibliography 197 Chapter 6. Achieving financial sustainability for Dutch water management 203 -Introduction 204 -An overview of current expenditure and financial flows 204 -Sources of financing, beneficiaries and transfers 207 -Future cost projections 221 -Analysis based on the OECD Framework for Financing Water Resources Management 231 -Bibliography 238 Chapter 7. Water governance in the Netherlands as a driver for better accountability 243 -Introduction 244 -An important awareness gap to bridge 244 -Economic regulation 245 -Building on the “Polder Model” for effective stakeholder engagement 259 -Bibliography 281 Annex A. List of Dutch stakeholders consulted during the policy dialogue 291