Anticipating climate change: knowledge use in participatory flood management in the river Meuse

A.J. Wesselink, J. Reuber, M.S. Krol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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Abstract

Given the latest knowledge on climate change, the Dutch government wants to anticipate the increased risk of flooding. For the river Meuse in The Netherlands, the design discharge is estimated to increase from 3800m3/s to 4600m3/s. With the existing policy of “Room for the River”, this increase is to be accommodated without raising the dikes. At the same time the floodplains are often claimed for other functions, e.g. new housing or industrial estates. In 2001 the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management started the study “Integrated assessment of the river Meuse (IVM)” with the objectives of making an inventory of the probable physical effects of a design flood, assuming climate change, on the river Meuse in 2050, investigating possible spatial and technical measures to mitigate these effects, and finally combining various measures to create an integral strategy for flood protection, while at the same time increasing spatial quality. This paper presents the results of research into the decision making process that took place in order to achieve these objectives. Special attention was given to the role of scientific and technical knowledge in the decision making process, e.g. by investigating the effect of the quality of input data on acceptance by stakeholders, and the interactive use of a decision support system to visualise hydraulic effects. Conclusions on successes and pitfalls are drawn from observation and interviews with participants. It demonstrates how it is possible to integrate the necessary, technically complex knowledge in a political debate with stakeholders on how to deal with flood risk. Furthermore, the experience indicates in what area improvements could be made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSharing a common vision of our water resources
Subtitle of host publicationConference proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the European Water Resources Association, EWRA, 7-10 September 2005, Menton, France
Place of PublicationValbonne, France
PublisherEditions de la Boyère
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)2-906859-17-6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2005
Event6th International Conference of the European Water Resources Association, EWRA: Sharing a common vision of our water resources. Conference proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the European Water Resources Association, EWRA, 7-10 September 2005, Menton, France - Menton, France
Duration: 7 Sep 200510 Sep 2005

Conference

Conference6th International Conference of the European Water Resources Association, EWRA
Period7/09/0510/09/05
Other7-10 September 2005

Keywords

  • Flood management
  • Spatial quality
  • Knowledge use
  • Hydraulic model
  • Climate change
  • Participatory decision making

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