Hotspot South-West Netherlands Delta
The South-West Netherlands Delta hotspot will be faced in the future with rising sea levels, changing wind patterns and changing river discharges (lower in the summer and higher in the winter). This will result in changes in water quality, salinisation, water availability, ecology and estuarine dynamics, which will have repercussions on spatial planning, the economic structure and long term policy objectives as specified in the Delta programme of the provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant and South-Holland. Restoration of estuarine dynamics is, in addition to ensuring security and strengthening regional economic structure, one of the programme’s most important ambitions.
All initiatives concerning the restoration of estuarine dynamics have one thing in common: they aim to make optimum use of the hydrodynamic processes present, though climate change will have a significant influence on the hydrodynamic conditions. This can mean that the implementation of existing sluice gate systems which aim to restore the saltwater/freshwater gradient and tide dynamics may no longer be sufficient to achieve the proposed objectives for agriculture and nature. Rising sea levels also means a change in flooding risk, which must be taken into account when planning estuarine dynamic restoration.
The active incorporation of the long term effects of climate change and related social and scientific uncertainties in the planning and implementation of investments in spatial planning, as specified in the Delta programme. The formulation of adaptation strategies for water management and spatial planning in the South-West Netherlands Delta in the Netherlands, which can be efficiently and rapidly implemented in ongoing and future planning processes.
The themes are:
communication and efficient incorporation of climate proofing in planning and implementation phases in the South-West Netherlands Delta, through cooperation
effects of climate on estuarine dynamic restoration strategies
new comprehensive methods for coastal defence
climate change and its effect on spatial design, water availability and water quality
climate as a business opportunity (saline agriculture, aquaculture, recreation and fishing)
Midterm Assessment 2012 (webpage)