Integrated water management is an approach with many facets. To improve management of our water resources now and in the future, we need to understand better the interactions between local human interventions and water system functioning.
Over centuries, the Dutch have learnt how to protect our country, making it an ever safer place to live, while securing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. Our water management takes a prevention and integrated approach. We believe that bringing together various stakeholders and looking at water challenges from different perspectives are essential to designing suitable solutions that fit local circumstances.
Holistic approach and stakeholder inclusion
This holistic approach and stakeholder inclusion are crucial to solving global water issues. It explains why the Dutch explicitly include the factors directly related to water management such as water governance, finance, innovation and a long term vision instead of short term measures.
The larger the scale and more complex the challenges for water management, the higher the demands for organisational capacity to execute them. And the higher the stakes for society, the more participation is required. This is why the Dutch also developed a culture of multi-party negotiation locally known as polderen.