Water safety and flooding

Deltas are sensitive to flooding. Controlling flood risks asks for a continuous adaptation to changing circumstances. Climate change forces us to look closely at the measures we take to keep the Netherlands safe and viable. The sea level is rising and the chances of storms and extreme weather are increasing, the speed of this increase cannot be predicted.


To develop sound, flexible adaptation measures such as robust dykes we need to know what works and what doesn’t work. From 2007 till 2014 the Knowledge for Climate programme supported national, regional and local authorities by developing a strategy to deal with flood risk for the 21st century and beyond.

Smart solutions

With smart solutions you can prevent flooding and the consequences of flooding. Within the theme Water safety researchers focused on the following solutions:

  • Unburdening flood defences
  • Protecting against flooding
  • Decreasing the size of the flood prone area
  • Decreasing vulnerability to flooding

Besides this researchers looked into measures other cities have taken, such as London, Hamburg, Jakarta and New York. The research within Knowledge for Climate led to a coherent flood management strategy that is acknowledged by all those involves and takes all the different aspects into account.

Multifunctional dykes Rotterdam

Climate change poses a challenge to the density of the Dutch cities. Water boards will need more room to increase the dykes to guarantee safety of the Randstad area. Multifunctional dykes could be the smart solution if there is lack of room.

A multifunctional dykes asks for a bigger initial investment, but turns out to be more cost efficient after 100 years. Part of the investment can be earned back with the profits from the project development. Read more.

Consortium Partners

Consortium Partners theme1

‘Almost unbreakable dykes’: a realistic mission or an impossibility?

Much discussion surrounding the ‘almost unbreakable dykes’ seems to be the result of missing knowledge or incorrect representation. This is the reason Knowledge for Climate issued a project to study such dykes. Several casuses have been studied. Read more.

Knowledge for Climate TV: Superstorm