OECD Assesses Role of Water Governance in the Netherlands

OECD17 March 2014: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report, titled ‘Water Governance in the Netherlands: Fit for the Future?' which highlights ways to make the Dutch system more sustainable in light of climate change.

The report includes chapters on: interlocking water management functions in the Netherlands; knowing water risks in the Netherlands; key future trends for Dutch water governance; multi-level water governance in the Netherlands; managing water risks in the Netherlands at the least cost to society; achieving financial sustainability for Dutch Water management; and water governance in the Netherlands as a driver for better accountability. The report addresses water risks, including water shortage, floods and excess water, and threats to freshwater ecosystems. It further highlights drivers of future trends, such as climate change, economics and demographics.

The report identifies engagement of stakeholders as key to effective water governance institutions, emphasizing an awareness gap among Dutch citizens about water-related risk. The report also stresses the importance of benchmarking to enhance transparency, calling for moving beyond self-assessment to an independent mechanism for benchmarking. The report also highlights the role of the Dutch Polder model as a basis for water governance in the Netherlands, and draws lessons learned on effective stakeholder engagement. [OECD Press Release] [Publication: Water Governance in the Netherlands: Fit for the Future?]