Water management

Water management includes the following subjects:

  • Water quantity management
  • Water quality management
  • River management
  • Pollution control
  • Surface water management
  • Groundwater management
  • Sewerage
  • Sewage
  • Industrial wastewater and sewerage treatment

An important part in the history of the Netherlands is the struggle against water. The concern for safety and dry feet has always been high on the agenda. Since the Middle Ages, the Dutch gave a lot of attention to the construction of dikes. Later, the concentration on drainage and transport of water became important: the original natural landscape was transformed into a man-made landscape.

The low part of the Netherlands is mainly created by man: a patchwork of lands gained by the sea, polders and drained lakes, crossed by innumerable ditches and canals. Without the hydraulic infrastructure and the expert management, a great deal of the Netherlands would be uninhabitable. Drainage, water supply and related management of the water are still of great importance to agriculture.

Water quantity management remained priority number one until the seventies. During the seventies the focus shifted to water quality issues when it became obvious that the Dutch waters became more and more polluted. The 1970 Pollution of Surface Water Act and the 1975 Pollution of Sea-Water Act became operational during this period.

Nowadays, water management in the Netherlands is known because of its integrated approach. In the mid nineties the concept of integrated water management, or the so-called polder model in water management was introduced. Until then the national policy documents on water management were fragmented. Each dealt with a single theme in isolation; either water quality or water quantity or flood protection. Integrated water management means that all water related issues are no longer examined in isolation. They are considered in the context of all relevant policy themes and in relation to other phenomena.

Piet Blom Consultancy BV contributes to integrated water management in the Netherlands, specialized in waste water treatment, water control, sewerage systems and civil engineering.

Links

The following associations play an important role in water management:

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