Taming global flood disasters. Lessons learned from Dutch experience

C. Zevenbergen, S. Herk, J. Rijke, P. Kabat

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51 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing international recognition that flood risk management in optima forma should be a programmed and flexible process of continuously improving management practices by active learning about the outcome of earlier and ongoing interventions and drivers of change. In the Netherlands, such a long-term, adaptive flood risk management strategy is now being implemented. This so-called second Delta Programme aims to identify and exploit opportunities and capitalize on short-term benefits and opportunistic synergies that arise from change and will require adaptive policymaking. It also requires the financial and institutional means to operate in a long-lasting way, which at the very least, means engaging stakeholders, gathering and disseminating results and adaptation of future plans. Transferring the Dutch approach to other countries is a major challenge that calls for fundamental changes in institutional arrangements at various levels and thus requires customized programmes for strategic institutional change. Recent examples of transfer will provide important lessons of how institutional change can successfully occur and will contribute insights for other countries that attempting to reform their flood risk management strategies. Continuous monitoring and evaluation and sharing international experiences will become crucial for the effective delivery and wider uptake of these new strategies around the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1225
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • water management
  • risk-management
  • climate-change
  • netherlands
  • transition
  • alliances


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