Five Delta Decisions

The Delta Programme has drafted five Delta Decisions, with plans to protect the Netherlands from flooding and shortages of freshwater. Each Delta Decision covers an important aspect of water management policy and the government has incorporated them into legislation. Each edition of the Delta Programme gives an update on how work on the Delta Decisions is progressing.

Delta Decisions

Every year on Budget Day the government publishes an updated edition of the Delta Programme, which looks ahead to the coming year. The Delta Programme 2019 (PDF) was launched on Budget Day in September 2018. In this edition, the Delta Programme Commissioner advised the government to take decisions on the following five aspects of the Delta Programme. 

  • Delta Decision on flood risk management
    The Delta Decision on flood risk management proposes new agreements to protect the Netherlands from flooding, including new standards on the height of dikes. The aim is to reduce flood risk and impact severity as far as possible.
  • Delta Decision on freshwater strategy
    What help can the government provide if there is a shortage of freshwater for farming, industry or nature? The Delta Programme Commissioner proposed making agreements to address this problem. The Delta Decision sets out plans to channel more freshwater to drier areas, and to inform users on measures they can take to save water.
  • Delta Decision on Spatial Adaptation
    This Delta Decision deals with issues such as how to discharge surplus water into the Wadden Sea and the conditions under which the IJsselmeer can serve as a freshwater reservoir for other areas. It also sets the highest permissible water levels for the IJsselmeer and the lakes that feed into it.
  • Delta Decision on the IJsselmeer region
    This Delta Decision deals with issues such as how to discharge surplus water into the Wadden Sea and the conditions under which the IJsselmeer can serve as a freshwater reservoir for other areas. It also sets the highest permissible water levels for the IJsselmeer and the lakes that feed into it.
  • Delta Decision on the Rhine-Maas delta
    How should water discharges from the river Rhine be distributed over the rivers Waal, Lower Rhine-Lek and IJssel? The answer to this question is essential for flood safety in these regions. The proposal is to make no changes between now and 2050. It should become clear in the years to come if changes are needed after 2050.

The role of the government in the Delta Decisions

The Delta Decisions are among the priority objectives of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. They underpin the government’s water management policies. The government has incorporated them into legislation.

The Delta Decisions are anchored in:

  • the National Water Plan;
  • the Water Act;
  • administrative agreements with other government authorities.

The Delta Programme gives an update on how work on the Delta Decisions is progressing.