Delta technology

Delta technology enables us to live and work in low-lying Delta regions like the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a strong international reputation in the field of delta technology.

The building of the Sand Motor and Maasvlakte II are projects that showcase Dutch innovative strength to the world. Other countries call on Dutch technology too. For example in making New Orleans ‘waterproof’ and in building a storm surge barrier in St Petersburg. Or when obtaining advice after Hurricane Sandy struck New York.

Society needs integrated and sustainable water-system management solutions to problems involving the quantity and quality of our surface water and protection against high water. The delta technology sector has chosen to cluster knowledge development and innovations in 4 themes:

  • Eco-engineering
  • Water Safety
  • Smart Dikes
  • Liveable Delta


Eco-engineering contributes to achieving economic goals as well as goals involving nature and our living environment. Over the past 5 years, the Netherlands has been successfully developing this concept within the Building with Nature innovation programme. The concept is already enabling the hydraulic engineering sector to remain competitive on the international market. The ambition is to see the ‘eco-dynamic design concept for spatial development’ become globally accepted, applied and developed further.

Water Safety

Water Safety stands for integrated, sensible and risk-based protection against high water, or ‘multi-layered safety’. Prevention, sustainable spatial planning and sound disaster management together ensure optimal safety at the lowest possible cost. The new Flood Control 2100 innovation programme plays an important role within this theme. Flood Control 2100 is the follow-up to Flood Control 2015.

Smart Dikes

The Digital Delta and Energy Dikes innovation programmes deal with Smart Dikes. The first programme involves the integrated linking of data, models, algorithms, tools and applications. This information is made available to the entire sector. It offers all parties new innovations at a limited cost. The Water & Climate and Next Generation Hydro-Software programmes influence the content. Rijkswaterstaat and the water authorities are major buyers. They are intensively involved in fleshing out the programme.

The Energy Dikes programme focuses on ways of generating energy, including freshwater-saltwater transition and tidal power. These energy sources are getting more opportunities due to climate change. They help ensure that energy provision becomes more sustainable as well. The focus lies on a multidisciplinary approach to energy, the economy and ecology. Alignment is actively being sought with existing public programmes at the national and European levels.

Liveable Delta

Liveable Delta is the theme of the Sustainable Delta Cities and Living With Salt innovation programmes.

There are few countries that have such deep and combined knowledge of the technical requirements for urban delta areas regarding water safety, climate change, and sustainable environmental and economic developments, that above all else fit into the socio-cultural context. This means that the Netherlands can strengthen its position as an innovator across the entire chain: from fundamental understanding through to urban development. Work is being done on a cohesive portfolio of knowledge, technology and services along 3 lines:

  • mapping and monitoring delta cities;
  • designing and planning resilient delta cities;
  • climate adaptive construction and (re)development.

Living With Salt is concerned with developing a system to quickly and effectively draw up an integrated plan for dealing with increasing salinization in a coastal area or delta. The added value of this programme lies in the intelligent combination of innovations in water management, water technology and agro-technology for primary production (agriculture, fishing) and other uses (nature, industry, drinking water).