Notification system Delta Programme

Notification system Delta Programme

Climate Adaptation

Notification system for Freshwater Delta Programme

The Delta Programme sets out strategies for protecting the Netherlands from flooding and for safeguarding adequate supplies of fresh water. The Adaptive Delta Management concept is one of the cornerstones of the Delta programme. It involves responding in good time to uncertain developments in climate and society: keeping options open and preventing over- or under-investment.

The Freshwater Delta Programme sets out the details of adaptive delta management for each freshwater region in adaptation pathways: a series of ever more wide-ranging measures designed to deal with an increasingly dry climate or higher water demand. Deltares was asked to design a system that provides timely warning that preparations should be made for the next step in a process of this kind.

Notification system Delta Programme

Our role and the result

Information is needed to notify people in good time that follow-up action needs to be initiated. In 2016, we worked on a method for identifying indicators that can provide this information.

We worked with Rijkswaterstaat Water, Traffic and Environment (WVL) and stakeholders from various freshwater regions to identify indicators and determine whether they could be used in practice. On that basis, we identified five questions that can help to find indicators that result in timely, reliable and convincing alerts.

The results show that a combination of indicators is best. If multiple indicators suggest that action is needed, then it is more likely that something has to be done. Moreover, it has emerged that, in practice, we often look at indicators that are in line with the standards and they often involve extreme values. However, alerts are produced earlier and more reliably when we use average values. For example, the average flow of water in the Rhine in the summer half year is a good indicator for climate change.

The approach is a generic one that can also be used for other programmes such as the Flood Risk Management Delta Programme. We will be working on the elaboration of the method in the time to come. We also be advising the Delta Commissioner's staff about the establishment of a notification system.

Timely and reliable alerts are important for the implementation of an adaptive plan.
Marjolijn Haasnoot
Deltares Expert Water resources management and environmental modelling
The search for a good notification system for the new principle of adaptive delta management is pioneering work, an exploration of an unexplored area.
Willem Oosterberg
Rijkswaterstaat Water, Traffic and Environment (WVL)

For this project Deltares has collaborated with the following partners:

  • Rijkswaterstaat

Want to know more about this project?

Marjolijn Haasnoot
Expert Water resources management and environmental modelling
  • +31 (0)6 120 78 785