The Dutch dominant perspective on water; Risks and opportunities involved

Astrid Offermans*, Pieter Valkering, Heleen Vreugdenhil, Nanda Wijermans, Marjolijn Haasnoot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


To implement or continue water management strategies social support is needed. Social support highly depends on people's perspectives on water. However, these perspectives are not static and may change over time leading to changes in social support for strategies. Therefore, sustainable water management strategies should be robust. Robust strategies are able to cope with changing social and environmental developments. Lacking robustness runs the risk of losing social support, which may force policymakers into sudden or expensive measures. We use the Perspectives Method to analyze the present Dutch policy perspective and the dominant perspective on water among Dutch water professionals, by respectively studying the Dutch Delta report and questionnaire outputs and distinguishing between Hierarchical, Egalitarian, Individualistic and Fatalistic perspectives. A comparison between the policy and professional perspective shows similarities and differences. Topics regarding drought, water supply, and waters relation to spatial planning need serious reconsideration to guarantee enough present and future social support to implement the measures suggested in the policy report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1177
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2013


  • Perspective change
  • Perspectives on water
  • Social robustness
  • Social support
  • Sustainable water management


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