The story of Rijkswaterstaat
Safety, mobility and quality of life in the Netherlands. That’s what Rijkswaterstaat is working on. So people are protected against flooding. So they can get from A to B quickly and safely. And so they live in a country with sufficient green space, and enough clean water and drinking water for everyone.
We don't do that on our own: in fact, we can't do that on our own. Collaboration is essential. At local level, regional level, national level and... international level. The largest aspect of the policy and its implementation in the Netherlands is formed by the legal and regulatory framework of the EU.
The increasing challenges - such as climate change, lack of space and scarcity of raw materials - are global. Traffic and water don't stop at national borders, after all.
Time to take an international perspective
It might not always be noticeable, but much of the world we live in is interconnected. Water, roads, economies, ecosystems. There are all sorts of networks that inseparably link countries to each other. So we can't limit ourselves to thinking from a national point of view. This demands an international perspective.
Rijkswaterstaat’s international aim
So we ensure that we source knowledge from over the border and bring it back, that we develop knowledge together with international partners and that our knowledge can be found. People here in the Netherlands face the same challenges as those in other countries.
They, too, have headaches trying to find answers to issues like extreme high-water levels and drought. And what those issues mean for the distribution of water, and the security of the flood barriers that protect us. We gather all that knowledge. After all, 7 billion people know more than 17 million.
In addition, we offer our colleagues at Rijkswaterstaat and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management advice and support on complex European grant applications by means of the Rijkswaterstaat Office for European Programmes (Bureau Brussel). No easy task: this often involves tens of millions in co-financing.
And by being active at an international level, we ensure that we can identify significant changes in good time. So we can act on them and play an important role where developments such as climate, smart mobility and circularity are concerned, as well as in the provision of data and information.
In terms of surface area and population, our country may be small, but the Netherlands is a major player at international level, thanks to Rijkswaterstaat and others. A sturdy partner that brings a lot to the table.
Rijkswaterstaat tomorrow and into the future
Our international collaboration in the present is often about both tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. If we miss that one encounter there won't be any immediate consequences, but we may find ourselves at a disadvantage further down the line. By being pro-active now, we're prepared for the future.
Thanks to international collaboration in the past, for instance, we are now working with self-repairing asphalt. Through yesterday's international research we see that motorists in Europe are now driving vehicles with quiet tyres. And, thanks to a European project, we will be able to monitor the quality of sea water with the help of satellites: more effective and efficient.
We want to utilise opportunities, regardless of where they arise. So we are working together, boundlessly, and we are strengthening the international bonds to make the Netherlands even safer, with greater quality of life and improved access to mobility.