KNM webinar “Drought in the Netherlands”

Praktische informatie

  • 14 oktober 2021
  • 1600-17:00
  •  Online

The Wageningen Environmental Studies Alumni Association (KNM) organizes a series of webinars on current topics in environmental sciences, open for all interested alumni, students and others. The upcoming webinar is on the topic ‘Drought in the Netherlands’

Three key note speakers will give a presentation:

  • René Didde (WUR alumnus and Scientific Journalist). Title: Drought in The Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr Albert van Dijk (Chair Hydrology group WUR). Title: “That’s not a drought…That’s a drought!” Dutch droughts from an Australian perspective
  • Almer Bolman (advisor ecohydrology and groundwater at Water Board District Vallei en Veluwe). Title: Addressing drought in the centre of the Netherlands

René Didde
René Didde is author of the book “Nederland Droogteland” (Drought in The Netherlands); for more information look at www.nederlanddroogteland.nl.

After ages of practice, the Dutch are world champions in draining the land of water, but in the current climate, with floodings followed by water shortages, the question arises if we might not have taken this too far. New choices will have to be made, and alternatives will have to be researched and developed. Already, a lot of small initiatives are taking place, but this is not enough; we will have to shift to a higher gear. Larger areas to store water in sandy soils, and the storage of water in basins are just some examples. Also, much more water can be held in city ponds and parks. But, above all, we will have to work towards a new form of spatial planning, where usage (e.g. agriculture, drinking water production, or industrial water usage) no longer determines the water level. In the nearby future, the water level should determine the type of usage. The ultimate consequence of this paradigm shift is that bulb growers and tree nurseries in higher sandy areas without sufficient water supply, will have to move away or even quit.

Prof. Dr Albert van Dijk
Droughts can occur anywhere but their characteristics and impacts are very diverse. I have studied and compared droughts in Australia and globally for the last 17 years. Here, I will explore why droughts have such dramatically different impacts, and how they relate to water scarcity, heatwaves, bushfires and other ecological disturbances. I will also discuss how some of the features more frequently associated with Australian droughts are becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands due to our changing climate, and what options there are to limit their impact.

Almer Bolman
The droughts of recent years have made changes in water management more urgent. The Vallei en Veluwe Waterboard takes a three tiered approach to tackling the vulnerability of its water systems, which will be presented. Foremost, it is important to consider both faces of climate change. Extremely wet winters are part of the projected climate change as well. So, a robust water system should be able to tackle both dry and wet spells. Cooperation with other organisations, both governmental and NGO is essential to achieve a consistent approach.


Please fill out the form below to register. Afterwards you will receive an e-mail confirmation with the link to the webinar. The activity is free of charge.

This is one out of a series of webinars which are organized by the KNM. Regularly check the website for other webinars and activities.




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