Water Policy in the Netherlands: Integrated Management in a Densely Populated Delta

Jun 1, 2009 | Reinhard, Stijn, Folmer, Henk

Water Policy in the Netherlands:
Integrated Management in a Densely Populated Delta
Stijn Reinhard and Henk Folmer, editors
June 2009



Water Policy in the Netherlands Book CoverWater Policy in the Netherlands: Integrated Management in a Densely Populated Delta





As a low-lying delta region with a high population density, the Netherlands has long served as a study of successes and pitfalls in water management.  Water Policy in the Netherlands traces the history of water governance in the country, from technological innovations to prevent wide-scale flooding, to strategies focused primarily on improving water quality, to an interdisciplinary, integrated water management approach, which brings together perspectives from economics, hydrology, ecology, water law, and water technology.  The book is grounded in the realization that both the technical and social sciences must play a key role in crafting policy in the face of serious environmental challenges, including climate change, sea level rise, and increasing soil subsidence. 

Within the context of the European Union's Water Framework Directive, Reinhard, Folmer, and their contributors explore how economic models and pricing structures might improve efficiency in the distribution of water resources; how the competing uses for water—including for recreation, agriculture, fisheries, and natural preservation—create demands on the quantity and the quality of water resources; and how public participation, co-governance, and both public and private interests can be effectively served in natural resource management.  For policymakers in both developed and developing countries, the book provides insight into how the analytic tool of integrated management is necessary to not only meet the current demands of water governance, but to go further towards optimizing the water system.


Stijn Reinhard is head of the Spatial and Regional Policy unit of LEI (Agricultural Economics Research Institute), the Hague. He received the American Agricultural Economics Association best dissertation award for his work on environmental efficiency.

Henk Folmer is professor of research methodology and spatial econometrics at the University of Groningen and of general economics at Wageningen University. He is editor-in-chief (with Tom Tietenberg) of the International Review (formerly Yearbook) of Environmental and Resource Economics, and coordinating editor-in-chief of Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences.

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