Reducing the risk of water related disasters
Many countries around the world face severe water threats. Often, these countries are in urgent need of expert advice on how to prevent a disaster or how to recover from a calamity. For instance, when a country has been struck by severe floodings and the first emergency relief workers have gone, the need for advise on how to build a sustainable and safer water future arises. To meet these needs with a swift response, the Dutch government has initiated the Dutch Risk Reduction Team (DRR-Team). This team of experts advises governments on how to resolve urgent water issues related to flood risks, water pollution and water supply, to prevent disasters or to rebuild after water related disasters.
With climate change and a fast growing world population, water issues are becoming more urgent. As a country renowned for its’ expertise on water and delta management, the Netherlands feels a responsibility to share its’ knowledge worldwide. That is just what the DRR-Team does; sharing expertise with governments to come up with the best possible approach/solutions for tackling urgent water issues.
Because of the unique cooperation between government and sector, the best experts can be fielded quickly. The Dutch government offers a specific number of advisory missions each year.
Advice for all water issues
The Netherlands has brought its best water experts together in the Dutch Risk Reduction Team. It consists of high level advisors supported by a broad base of technical experts who can provide top quality and tailor made expertise to governments that are confronted with severe and urgent water challenges. The Dutch are experts in adapting to water in a changing world ; from delta management to water technology, from urban planning to governance, public private partnerships and financial engineering.
How does the DRR team work?
Governments that have to deal with an urgent water issue are encouraged to contact the Dutch embassy in their region. The embassy will liaise quickly with the Dutch government. Interventions will only take place after a request from a central government has been received by the Dutch government, and after a recent calamity or to prevent a threatening disaster. The DRR-Team does not focus on emergency relief, but on sustainable solutions. If the decision to respond to the request is made, relevant Dutch experts will be rapidly fielded to the area that is under pressure. Together with the government and local experts, the situation will be assessed and analysed after which the team will come up with a set of recommendations. For example advice on technical interventions including immediate measures and long term sustainable solutions, advice on governance and advice on financing options. The DRR-Team enables a foreign government to take action on the basis of sound advice and expertise.
Solving water issues together
The Netherlands wants to share its water expertise in order to solve global water problems. An increasing number of countries will be confronted with water issues in the coming decades. In the (near) future a large proportion of the world’s population will be living in low-lying coastal areas, particularly in megacities which are vulnerable to flooding, water pollution and water shortages. The Netherlands has centuries of experience when it comes to water management: in the Netherlands - which is for a large large part below sea level - but also around the world. In New Orleans, for example, where the Dutch have collaborated with the American authorities to deliver sustainable solutions to prevent new floods. And in Colombia, where Dutch expertise has been used to prevent rivers from flooding and causing damage to the environment and the economy. The Netherlands are also currently working on flood resilience in Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.