Between adaptability and the urge to control: making long-term water policies in the Netherlands

Britta Restemeyer*, Margo van den Brink, Johan Woltjer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
358 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Triggered by recent flood catastrophes and increasing concerns about climate change, scientists as well as policy-makers increasingly call for making long-term water policies to enable a transformation towards flood resilience. A key question is how to make these long-term policies adaptive so that they are able to deal with uncertainties and changing circumstances. The paper proposes three conditions for making long-term water policies adaptive, which are then used to evaluate a new Dutch water policy approach called Adaptive Delta Management'. Analysing this national policy approach and its translation to the Rotterdam region reveals that Dutch policy-makers are torn between adaptability and the urge to control. Reflecting on this dilemma, the paper suggests a stronger focus on monitoring and learning to strengthen the adaptability of long-term water policies. Moreover, increasing the adaptive capacity of society also requires a stronger engagement with local stakeholders including citizens and businesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-940
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume60
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • adaptive policies
  • strategic planning
  • flood risk management
  • flood resilience
  • Dutch water management
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • MANAGEMENT
  • RESILIENCE
  • UNCERTAINTY
  • ADAPTATION
  • GOVERNANCE
  • SYSTEMS
  • WORLD
  • CITY

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