Climate change impacts on water management and adaptation strategies in the Netherlands: stakeholder and scientific expert judgments

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This paper presents the results of a survey of stakeholder and scientific expert judgments regarding the impacts of climate change on water management in The Netherlands in 2001. The main methodological findings were put into broader perspective by discussing the role of stakeholder and scientific expert judgment in the context of the Dutch national research programme 'Climate changes Spatial Planning' (CcSP) in the period 2001-2007. We focus on flood risks, and impacts on freshwater resources because they were mentioned most in the 2001 survey. For the flood risks, a high degree of consensus amongst stakeholders and scientific experts was discovered about knowledge, values and aims involved. This was not the case for the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources. The approach, chosen in 2001, enabled the researchers to explore the different opinions regarding the impacts of climate change. It appeared, however, very difficult to prioritize available adaptation options and to formulate cross-sectoral adaptation strategies. Within the CcSP programme, initiated after the 2001 survey, it can be observed that stakeholders become more involved in expert judgements about climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. The interaction between scientists and stakeholders is gradually shifting from a collaborative/consultative approach towards a real participatory approach in the research and design process of combined regional and sectoral adaptation strategies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-200
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • climatic change
  • water management
  • floods
  • risk assessment
  • dutch
  • ecosystems
  • shifts

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