Freshwater supply by external sources

Safeguarding fresh water access in the Dutch Southwestern Delta

Freshwater resources are limited in the south-west of The Netherlands, while scarcity will become more pressing in this region in the near future due to sea level rise, soil subsidence and prolonged droughts. Since the region is an important agricultural area it is quintessential to address these issues in time.

To support long term decision making on water management independent research was carried out by Acacia Water. The research was set up all-around the question ‘how to safeguard access to freshwater?’. The formulation of long term research questions and the identification of optimal water management strategies were central to the research.

The conclusion read that the current approach – flushing the drainage system with freshwater supplied by external sources – cannot be continued forever and ever. Local surface water systems are becoming more and more dependent on the primary canals. Notwithstanding, the research also points out that there is sufficient knowledge available to organize a more effective freshwater supply. The conclusions are based on the outcomes of interdisciplinary joint fact finding sessions in which the boundary conditions were set by the physical environment. Studies focused on identifying the factors that are elementary to supplying sufficient water to the different land uses during summer. To this end, four indicators were evaluated: the intensity of saline seepage, the percentage of freshwater that is being used, the average chloride concentration in surface water bodies and the land uses that are vulnerable to salinization. These indicators were at the core of the research framework and allowed for the formulation of concrete research recommendations and policy strategies.

Refer to this link to read the recommendations, the synthesis and the full report (Dutch).

High value cash crops in the Southwestern Delta High value cash crops in the Southwestern Delta
South western Delta South western Delta
Presentation of the final report Presentation of the final report