Netherlands expertise

The history of the Netherlands is inextricably linked with water. The Netherlands has an international reputation for innovation, integrated and inclusive solutions that: protect people and infrastructure from flooding; prevent water scarcity; and, ensure supplies of clean and safe water.

This knowledge and experience brings innovative technology and effective good governance together to create integrated policies that incorporate sustainability and inclusivity.

For decades, the Netherlands has made its knowledge and expertise available and the Dutch water sector is very well regarded all over the world. Experts from Government, knowledge institutes, industry and NGOs work in many vulnerable areas where they cooperate on programmes that bring sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. The Dutch water sector works intensively with the other countries, UN Agencies and international financial institutions such as the World Bank.

In the Netherlands we started to live with water more than 1000 years ago. We've built my country from a water democracy, dating back to the 1100's when we elected our first water regulatord. We had water experts before we were a Kingdom and now we have a King who is a global respected water leader.  And living with water is our culture. 

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Image: Image: Hein Lageveen

Netherlands state visit to India

King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima visit Kerala, October 2019.

The Netherlands together with the World Bank, WEF and partners helped establish the High Level Panel on Water in 2016. Prime Minister Rutte was one of the leaders on the panel and Henk Ovink was Sherpa to the UN HLPW. At the World Economic Forum in January 2019, Prime Minister Rutte officially launched the Valuing Water Initiative (VWI). The Valuing Water Initiative is the flagship programme for the HLPW and the Netherlands still leads this programme.  Using practical case studies, the VWI showcases how the United Nations’ Valuing Water Principles are implemented to bring about systemic change in the way water is valued in policy, practice, finance and behaviour, and to inspire others to do the same.

The Netherlands initiated the Global Commission on Adaptation to share its knowledge on deploying innovative water management solutions for sea level rise. The Global Commission on Adaptation was launched in The Hague on 16 October 2018 by the former Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon. The managing partners of the Commission are the Global Center on Adaptation and the World Resources Institute.

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Image: Image: Cynthia van Elk
Water as leverage. Khulna Baro Bazar, Bangladesh 2019.