The role of evidence-based information in regional operational water management in the Netherlands

Michiel Pezij*, Denie C.M. Augustijn, Dimmie M.D. Hendriks, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)


The integration of evidence-based information in operational water management is essential for robust decision-making. We investigated the current use of experiential and evidence-based information in Dutch regional operational water management. Interviews with operational water managers at regional water authorities in the Netherlands reveal that they use both evidence-based and experiential information for decision-making. While operational water management is shifting towards an evidence-based approach, experiential information is still important for decision-making. To fulfil the current information need, the operational water managers indicate they would like to have access to high-resolution spatial data, value-added products and tools for communication to stakeholders. We argue that hydrological models are suitable tools to support these needs. However, while several evidence-based information types are used by operational water managers, hydrological models are limitedly applied. Hydrological models are regarded as inaccurate for operational water management at desired spatial scales. Also, operational water managers often struggle to correctly interpret hydrological model output. We propose several means to overcome these problems, including educating operational water managers to interpret hydrological model output and selecting suitable indicators for evidence-based decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental science & policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Evidence-based information
  • Decision-making
  • Operational water management
  • Hydrological modelling


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