Innovation Ideas/Diamonds

Strategies for water safety (UU)


Innovation Profile


short description

In the Netherlands, approximately 60% of the land surface is prone to flooding. For centuries we are protecting ourselves from the rising water by dikes, both along the major rivers and along the coast. Foreign countries admire our water management. Its effectiveness has undoubtedly contributed to our economic development. However, climate change is leading to increasing risks. Sea level rise, land subsidence, rising river flows and increasing chances on weather extremes ensure that the vulnerability of the Netherlands to flooding is increasing. In the coming years, the emphasis will be on a defensive approach as well through the creation and strengthening of dikes. But perhaps dykes can be better integrated into the urban environment by giving them a multifunctional character. In addition, other strategies should be implemented in the future, addressing prevention (not building in highly flood-prone areas) and mitigation (preventing damage by adjusting building shapes). And if it still does go wrong, we must be prepared in any case (warning systems, evacuation) and we must have the ability to promote recovery (eg by insurance). The combination of these strategies will ensure a sustainable and resilient organisation of our country.

campus full address
Utrecht University Heidelberglaan 2 3584 CS Utrecht The Netherlands
contact person/researcher/expert
Peter Driessen
key words
water management, flood, dyke, safety
creator of profile
Martine van der Woude
email contact person
visibility of the part "ii innovation profile"
origins of the idea
Research institution, Educational institutions, Government
spatial scale
primary use of project
Mixed use
sectors of innovation
Safety, Water
upscaling potential
Higher scale (region or above) / society
type of innovation
Adaption to climate change, Political/ Governance/Institutional, Agriculture, Research project
innovation status
time to market
2 – 3 years