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The practice of Adaptive Delta Management in the Netherlands

The practice of Adaptive Delta Management in the Netherlands

In 2011, Adaptive Delta Management (ADM) was introduced in the Dutch Delta Program as a policy development method that incorporates uncertainty in decision-making. At this moment, little is known about the functioning of ADM in practice, while this is key for successful adaptation. This paper presents the results of research into the implementation of ADM in The Netherlands. We focus especially on the efficacy of ADM in dealing with uncertain sea-level rise.

This research concludes that to enhance adaptation to sea-level rise to keep the Netherlands safe, policymakers at all levels must gain an overview of the entire solution space over time. Furthermore, actors implementing adaptation plans, like water boards and municipalities, require more insight into the combined consequences of sea-level rise and national adaptation strategies for their area. Here we propose the development of regional consequence scenarios as a promising way forward. In addition, implementing actors need to be enabled to incorporate uncertainties in their decision-making processes. Especially they need support in using the sometimes complicated instruments of ADM.

Interested to read more? Find the article on the Delta Links publication of December 2021

Ir. Anne-Marie de Jong (Complex Systems Engineering and Management, TU Delft)

Dr. Gerdien de Vries (Organisation & Governance, Technology & Management, TU Delft)

Dr. Ir. Jos Timmermans (Policy Analysis, Technology & Management, TU Delft)

With special thanks to Annick de Vries (Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid), and Hans de Bruijn (TU Delft) who guided the research and provided valuable feedback.