Netherlands

Dikes, soil and nature receive water for as long as possible

Photo: ANP

In the Netherlands, dikes, soil and nature receive water for as long as possible, even if there is a water shortage. This is laid down in the so-called displacement series, which water managers use in the event of a serious water shortage. The stability of the dikes is important for national security. Settlement of the soil and irreversible damage to nature due to drought and salinization must also be prevented, because that can never be repaired.

A serious water shortage occurs when the social and ecological need for water exceeds the available amount of water, according to the water managers. The available freshwater must then be divided and for this purpose the series has been included in the Water Act, after the drought in 2003. Then a peat dike near Wilnis collapsed due to dehydration.

Four categories of water users have been identified in the displacement series. The interests of shipping, non-vulnerable nature, agriculture and water recreation fall into category 4, the group that is the first to stop using water. Category 3 includes water for capital-intensive crops and water for business processes. Water boards and provinces can decide on this at regional level. The Vallei en Veluwe and Aa en Maas water boards have recently done so.

The drinking water and energy supply is category 2, i.e. immediately after the water for dikes and nature. National decisions are taken on both categories. The European Commission considers the drinking water supply to be the most important in the event of a drought. The Netherlands deviates from this, because there is a lot of peat in the subsoil here. Peat will settle during a major drought and that can cause soil subsidence. The water board in Zeeland has already taken emergency measures against this on Wednesday.



Dikes, soil and nature receive water for as long as possible
Source link Dikes, soil and nature receive water for as long as possible

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