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Netherlands is part of:
Europe & CIS · Western Europe ·
Water Basins of Netherlands:
Rhine · Schelde ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital Amsterdam
Neighbouring Countries Belgium, France, Germany
Total Area 41,526 km2
  - Water 7,643 km2 (18.41%) / 1,841 m2/ha
  - Land 33,883 km2
Coastline 451 km
Population 16,423,431 (395 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.958 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 30.9 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $909,500 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $41,300
National UN Presence UNEP
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 7,702 km2 (22.73%)
     - Arable 7,441 km2 (21.96%)
     - Permanent Crops 261 km2 (0.77%)
     - Irrigated 5,650 km2
  - Non cultivated 203 km2 (77.27%)
Average Annual RainfallD 778 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 89.7 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 2.11 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 34%
  - For Domestic Use 6%
  - For Industrial Use 60%
  - Per Capita 499 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 100%
     - Urban population 100%
     - Rural population 100%
  - Improved Sanitation 100%
     - Urban population 100%
     - Rural population 100%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

> Articles | Projects & Case studies | Publications & Web resources | Who is who | Maps
> Sector Assessment | Sector Coordination | Donor Profile

Latest 4 maps for / including Netherlands (more..):



Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

The Netherlands is located in Western Europe, bordered by Belgium to the south, Germany to the east and the North Sea to the north and west. Geographically, the Netherlands is a flat, low lying country formed by the estuary of four important European rivers: the Rhine, the Meuse, the Ems and the Schelde. Two-thirds of the country is threatened by flooding. Through history, the country has defended itself against threats posed by water, building dikes and dams, canalizing rivers and reclaiming land from the sea. Today, about 9.6 million of its inhabitants (60% of the population) live below sea level, and about 70% of the country’s GDP is generated below sea level (Netherlands Water Partnership, 2006), thanks to a 3,500 km primary flood defence system composed of dikes and sand dunes.

Climate Change - The Danger of Floods and A Rising Sea

In 2006, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) announced the results of a new study based on four climate change scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The projections for 2050 include temperature increases of up to 2.9°C, the possibility of as much as 14% more precipitation in winter, and hotter summers with fewer rainy days but up to 27% more extreme rainfall events. These changes are likely to increase the flow of rivers in winter and the probability of longer dry periods in summer.

Besides a currently projected absolute rise in sea level of 35 to 85 cm by 2100, allowance needs to be made for land subsidence in the west, which will make the relative sea level rise even greater. Accordingly, the Governmental Delta Committee advised in 2008 that the Netherlands should prepare for an overall sea level rise of 0.65 to 1.30 metres by 2100. These changes will have a definite impact on flood protection measures, water resource availability, the environment and the economy. The Delta Committee has drawn up an integrated vision, including risk management and investment components, to help the country cope better with climate change.

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Although there are some local water shortages, the presence of large rivers such as the Rhine and its tributaries, as well as the Meuse, ensures that water quantity and water allocation to various sectors are not generally an issue in the Netherlands. Only 9% of the total annual renewable water resources is used. In recent years, however, periods of low river flow have become more frequent and tended to last longer. Recent studies indicate that water level and water quality and control may be most severely affected during the summer, when longer dry spells are expected. Water shortages and decreasing quality would affect agriculture, navigation, the energy sector (cooling water), nature and tourism. Consequently, the Dutch water management system could face a new challenge of having to allocate freshwater to priority areas. Current national priorities for freshwater allocation are based on minimizing irreversible damage and economic losses.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Responsibility for the management of natural water systems in the Netherlands and for protecting residents from flooding is largely allocated to the Waterschappen (regional water authorities or water boards).


The 26 current Waterschappen constitute a fourth form of government body in the Netherlands, alongside the central, provincial and municipal governments. These decentralized public authorities focus on water quality and quantity, water management and flood protection, and wastewater treatment. They are also active in environmental development. (Issues concerning spatial planning and the environment are first vetted by provinces and municipalities.) Sanitation is the joint responsibility of municipalities, which deal with the sewage systems, and the Waterschappen, which focus on wastewater treatment. In addition, water supply companies are responsible for delivering safe drinking water. Groundwater is the responsibility of the provinces.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities


Recently updated articles on Netherlands
  1. Netherlands/publications ‎(1,081 views) . . WikiBot
  2. Netherlands/Maps ‎(1,130 views) . . WikiBot
  3. Netherlands/articles ‎(1,062 views) . . WikiBot
  4. Netherlands/projects ‎(1,195 views) . . WikiBot
  5. Netherlands/who is who ‎(1,190 views) . . WikiBot

See the complete list of WaterWiki articles on Netherlands

Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Netherlands

(this is a list of the 15 most recently updated entries. To see all projects click here)

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Case studies in or about Netherlands

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  1. Water Conflict and Cooperation/Rhine River Basin ‎(58,637 views) . . Katy.norman
  2. Rhine Case Study ‎(10,994 views) . . Katy.norman
  3. Facing Water Challenges in the Netherlands: A WWDR3 Case Study ‎(7,884 views) . . WikiBot

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented projects in Netherlands


5 most recently updated publications on Netherlands
  1. Water Conflict and Cooperation/Rhine River Basin ‎(58,637 views) . . Katy.norman
  2. Rhine Case Study ‎(10,994 views) . . Katy.norman

5 most popular publications on Netherlands
  1. Water Conflict and Cooperation/Rhine River Basin ‎(58,637 views) . . Katy.norman
  2. Rhine Case Study ‎(10,994 views) . . Katy.norman

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented publications on Netherlands

Who is Who

People working in Netherlands

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See the complete list of Waterwiki users working in Netherlands

Organizations working in Netherlands
  1. International Commission for the Scheldt ‎(2,289 views) . . WikiBot
  2. International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine ‎(5,079 views) . . WikiBot
  3. International Commission for the Meuse/Maas ‎(1,836 views) . . WikiBot

See the complete list of WaterWiki documented organizations in Netherlands


See also

External Resources

"Water Supply and Sanitation in the Netherlands" on Wikipedia

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