Adaptation to Climate Change in Dutch Flood Risk Management: Innovative Approaches and Related Challenges



Climate adaptation and water management, in particular flood risk management (FRM), in the Netherlands are strongly integrated policy domains. The observed and expected effects of climate change in the Netherlands will create a variety of pressures, particularly in relation to sea-level rise, increasing river discharges and changing precipitation patterns. Whereas the focus in the Netherlands until recently was mainly and successfully on minimizing the probability of flooding (‘the fight against water’) and preparedness in case of a flood threat, in the course of time other strategies aimed at mitigating the effects of potential floods have gained a more prominent position (‘living with water’). As a result, FRM measures increasingly demand more space and more diverse actors became involved in Dutch FRM. This has increased complexity and fragmentation in the responsibilities for Dutch FRM, which resulted in an increasing need for communication, coordination and collaboration between different public and private actors in order to secure the effectiveness of FRM.


Flood Risk ManagementNetherlandsFloods DirectiveStrategiesDiversificationFragmentationCoordination
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 51–69
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.860
  • Published on 28 Nov 2022
  • Peer Reviewed