Drought will remain a problem in the Netherlands

  • 27.11.2022
  • NL Times

Companies and residents of the Netherlands must cut back on drinking water usage by at least 20 percent, said Water Management Minister Mark Harbers on Friday. This is one of the measures the Cabinet is introducing to deal with drought in the long term as a result of climate change. The Netherlands must also become more resistant to flooding.

That is why the consequences for water must be taken more into account when planning the Netherlands and dividing up the already scarce space. This not only has consequences for construction, but also for agriculture and the layout of towns and villages.

Last summer, the Cabinet had to intervene in the short term because of extreme drought. With these new rules, the Cabinet wants to agree on different frameworks so that the consequences for water are also taken into account at various decision-making levels. It is also important that water should be used more sparingly, the Cabinet believes. In addition to the 20 percent reduction, Harbers wants fewer discharges of water used for cooling purposes to guarantee water quality.

The news that that the Cabinet wants to raise the groundwater level leaked out earlier this week. This should prevent the ground from sinking during drought and can limit the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide caused by rot. Farmers have already indicated that they are concerned about the consequences. A higher groundwater level results in soggy soil, which can hinder farmers. In order to respond to droughts, which could become more frequent due to global warming, more fresh water must also be stored in reserves.