Commentary for the RAIN Symposium: Dutch Water Infrastructure Challenged by Climate Change

Stefan M.M. Kuks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The Netherlands has a history of land reclamation from the sea. They deploy a large amount of infrastructure for water management, e.g., dike rings, pumping stations, drainage canals, and almost every water body in the country is under engineered control. The Dutch consider land as a precious good that shouldn’t be spoiled and as a result, infrastructure is never abandoned, but preferably refurbished, renovated, reinforced or replaced. Over the past 30 years, the Dutch learned that water cannot only be turned and controlled with infrastructure but should also be accommodated and accepted as a guiding principle in spatial policy making. In this commentary we compare lessons from the Netherlands with Florida where engineered water control has also reached its limits. The Dutch developed a Room for the River Program to accommodate more water, a Freshwater Strategy to better utilize the underground sponge capacity, and a Spatial Adaptation Program to better adapt to weather extremes in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Works Management and Policy
Issue number1
Early online date22 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • climate adaptation
  • green-blue infrastructure
  • nature-based solutions
  • spatial adaptation
  • water infrastructure
  • UT-Hybrid-D


Dive into the research topics of 'Commentary for the RAIN Symposium: Dutch Water Infrastructure Challenged by Climate Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this