Water and climate

Our climate is changing and we’re all experiencing its effects. Heavy rainfall is more frequent and more intense. At the same time periods of drought are increasingly common too. The consequences to humans, plants and animals can be severe. Climate change is a fact, but its consequences are unpredictable. Reducing our impact on the environment is crucial, but a vast amount of change is already ‘locked-in’. How we deal with these changes is called climate-adaptation. It is fast becoming an integral part of how we deal with our environment in the Netherlands. It requires a collective effort many different organisations to smartly and sustainably adapt to water-shortages, floods and other factors of our changing climate.

Since 2014 the Netherlands has the ‘National Delta programme’. Within this programme the national government, provinces, municipalities, water management organisations and others cooperate in achieving climate adaptation and flood prevention. It is an overarching national framework for developing regional strategies. These regional strategies are developed with all stakeholders, including civil organisations, business and academic institutions. Its goals include flood prevention and guaranteeing our freshwater supply, but also to ensure that before 2050 our society is climate adaptive and water resilient.

Flood prevention is a major theme for the Maasheggen area. The Meuse is a large river and the hedgerows, valuable as they are, are not beneficial to flow of the water in times of flooding. Protecting the hedges thus requires compensating measures regarding the water level in the river.

The challenge is to meet the necessary standards of water safety whilst achieving the regional ambitions regarding the cultural, historical land ecological value of the Northern Meuse valley.

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