Broadly speaking, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management consists of three sections: policy, implementation and inspection. In addition, the ministry has several support agencies to ensure that the top political and civil service layers as well as the employees are able to perform their work.
In the policy section, four Directorates-General are concerned with developing policy in the areas of mobility, water management, aviation and maritime affairs and the environment. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) ensures that policy is implemented. Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) oversees compliance with statutory regulations by private individuals and companies. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) gathers information on the weather, climate and seismology and performs research. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the KNMI are agencies of the ministry.
Directorate-General for Aviation and Maritime Affairs
The Directorate-General for Aviation and Maritime Affairs is responsible for policy development in the fields of:
- maritime affairs;
The Directorate-General for Aviation and Maritime Affairs is headed by Director-General Jan Hendrik Dronkers.
Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs
The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs is responsible for policy development in the fields of:
- a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable human environment;
- air quality;
- circular economy;
- environmental security and environmental risks.
Futhermore the Directorate-General coordinates the international component of the ministries policy.
The Directorate-General for the Environment and International Affairs is headed by Director-General Roald Lapperre.
Directorate-General for Mobility
The Directorate-General for Mobility is responsible for policy development in the fields of:
- road safety;
- public transport and railways;
- bicycle traffic;
- sustainable mobility.
The Directorate-General for Mobility is headed by Director-General Mark Frequin.
Directorate-General for Water and Soil Affairs
The Directorate-General for Water and Soil Affairs is responsible for policy development in the fields of:
- water policy and flood risk management;
- climate adaptation;
- water projects in specific areas;
- water and soil issues.
The Directorate-General for Water and Soil Affairs is headed by Director-General Peter Heij.
Rijkswaterstaat is the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, responsible for the Dutch main road network, the main waterway network, the main water systems, and the environment in which they are embedded. Rijkswaterstaat facilitates smooth and safe flow of traffic, keeps the national water system safe, clean, user-friendly and protects the Netherlands against flooding.
The Dutch economy relies heavily on transport and logistics, our mainports must remain accessible. Hence, the Dutch mobility policy serves 2 goals: reliable travel times and better accessibility. By 2020, motorists travelling during rush hour should be able to arrive punctually 95% of the time, despite increased mobility and unexpected congestion.
The Dutch waterway network is the densest in Europe. About 6000 kilometres of rivers and canals, many of the latter serving drainage as well as navigation, form a complex system serving all parts of the country. The main commercial waterways (Class IV and higher), with a total length of 2200 kilometre, account for about 40% of international freight movements in the Netherlands and 20% of domestic freight. The main network is state-owned and operated by Rijkswaterstaat. Smaller waterways are managed by many different provincial authorities or drainage boards.
The Netherlands would be inhabitable without our flood defences and water management structure.
Having the right amount of water for water users, at the right time, in the right place, and at socially acceptable costs is one of our key targets. All measures are planned around the users, nature and the landscape and are carried out in close cooperation with water boards, other public authorities, NGOs and private parties.
Rijkswaterstaat tasks and responsibilities concerning the highways, waterways and water systems extend into the social environment in which they are embedded. The Environment division conducts various knowledge and implementation tasks in the field of environment for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, local authorities and other ministries within the Netherlands.
Drive for innovation
In collaboration with its partners from public, industry and research, Rijkswaterstaat strives for innovative solutions that increase its performance while reducing cost. Rijkswaterstaat's drive for innovation is to enable a national transport infrastructure network that performs better (+30%), costs less (-30% life cycle cost) and is future proof.
Like any other government agency in and outside Europe, Rijkswaterstaat is facing challenges to accommodate increased traffic growth, minimize congestion, maintain services in the face of increasing climate change effects, as well as deliver on environmental and societal objectives. Hence the strong drive for international cooperation, such as with our neighbouring countries, the European Union, the United States and China.
Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT)
The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) ensures compliance
with statutory regulations pertaining to sustainability and physical safety.
The ILT is organised into seven inspectorate domains, which adopt an integrated approach in their supervision wherever possible. This reduces the burden of supervision and facilitates collaboration with other inspectorates and enforcement organisations. The inspectorate strives for an unequivocal supervisory relationship with its supervisees, increased collaboration with other inspectorates and a risk-oriented supervision policy based on trust and aimed at a reduction of supervision and administrative burdens.
Savings are achieved in eliminating duplications as a result of the merger and in reducing the number of executive and support functions. In the primary process, the inspectorate sets course for new supervision formats (digital inspections, system supervisions in case of diligent compliance), which render the inspections less labour-intensive and keep the level of compliance up to par. The simplifications in legislation and regulations and the decentralisation of responsibilities will also affect the staff capacity and deployment of the inspectorate. In this, central government confines itself to upholding state interests.
The inspectorate is led by Inspector-General Mr J. van den Bos.
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) is the national
institute for strategic policy analysis on environment, nature, and spatial
planning issues of national and international significance. The agency
contributes to political and administrative decision-making by conducting
outlook studies, analyses and evaluations that take an integrated approach.
Policy relevance is the prime focus in all studies, which are commissioned by
the Ministry, other national bodies, and international agencies. These studies
investigate current environmental, nature and spatial quality, and identify and
explore future social trends and evaluate potential policy options.
PBL is headed by Director Mr. J.T. Mommaas.
For more information, see: www.pbl.nl/en/
Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute is the national institute for weather, the climate and seismology. The KNMI provides weather information in the areas of safety, the economy and a sustainable environment to the public, the government, the aviation sector and the shipping industry. In addition, the KNMI performs research into climate change and earthquakes and related phenomena.
This combination of infrastructure, technology, science and service provision is unique in the field of weather, the climate and seismology. At the global level, the KNMI works in close collaboration with other institutions and research institutes.
The major task of the KNMI is to make available the knowledge, data and information it has at its disposal. From its central weather room in De Bilt, the institute provides weather forecasts and warnings 24-hours a day. The KNMI delivers meteorological data and provides services on location especially for Schiphol national airport and Rotterdam Airport.
The climate research the KNMI performs is focused on observing, understanding and predicting changes in the climate system. The choice of research subjects is based on national and international climate research and on questions submitted by the government and civil society.
The KNMI is an agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The duties of the institute are set forth in the KNMI Act.
The Managing Director is Mr. G. van der Steenhoven.
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy
Knowledge, innovation and strategy are important themes for Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in which additional resources will be expressly invested in the years ahead. I&W has a Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Agenda.
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Directorate (KIS)
Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Directorate is a small, high-quality unit supporting the Secretary-General as the knowledge, innovation and strategy portfolio holder for I&M.
The Director is Ms L.F.M. van den Aarsen.
Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM)
The Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM) performs research in the area of mobility. Through exploratory studies and policy analyses, the institute lays the basis for the mobility policy. The institute’s products are independent of policy-based and political steering. The policy Directorates-General of I&M and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) are involved in drawing up the research programme of the KiM.
The Director is Mr H.L. Stipdonk.
Administrative and Legal Affairs Department (HBJZ)
The Administrative and Legal Affairs Department (HBJZ) contributes, in its role as ‘policy partner’, to the realization of the policy objectives of the Ministry. The department concerns itself with legislation, legal and administrative advice, covenants, agreements and basis for decisions and conducts legal proceedings. HBJZ connects the various topics which fall within the scope of the Ministry from a legal perspective. HBJZ is responsible for legal quality assurance for the whole of the Ministry and also functions as a guardian of the principles of proper governance and the rule of law. HBJZ acts as an advisor for its colleagues from the implementation and inspection departments, and is working, through a network with other Ministries, on the further development of national policies on (the quality of) legislation. On an international level, HBJZ cooperates with its partners in other member states on developments in European legislative policies (Better Regulation). HBJZ is headed by its managing director, mrs. H. (Heleen) Dekker LLM.