Water management in the Netherlands and the screening of surface water technical and managerial tactics

by Meinaard A. Veen


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This paper describes the screening of tactics that would change the movement and storage of water in the rivers, canals, ditches, and lakes of the Netherlands. The tactics are primarily designed to alleviate problems caused by shortages of surface water (including low flows and levels in waterways) and/or by the salinity of the water. The benefits considered in the screening analysis were (1) reductions in agriculture shortage losses, (2) reductions in agriculture salinity losses, and (3) reductions in shipping losses caused by low flows on the waterways. The findings indicate that, even under the assumption of considerable increases in surface water demand, practically all large infrastructure expansion works that were under consideration before the PAWN (policy analysis for the water management of the Netherlands) study are not cost-effective.

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