The Netherlands has a new flood risk policy which intends to increase cost-effectiveness. The policy shifts the burden of responsibility for flood risk management from the collective to the individual.
BASE researcher Dr. Roos Den Uyl (University of Exeter) and co-author Emmy Bergsma write on 18th November 2015 in the Dutch national newspaper Trouw that the change in policy change means a less equal distribution of responsibility for flood risk management. The authors also highlight that there has been a striking absence of public and political debate about the consequences of this new policy.
Under the new policy, people and businesses situated in densely populated towns and cities will be entitled to higher protection levels than those in rural areas, because this is considered to be more cost-efficient. In addition, people and business-owners in sparsely populated areas will have to organise and fund flood-protection measures themselves. This shift from has not been politically or publicly discussed, and furthermore, citizens have not yet actively been informed of the changes. The authors conclude that the lack of public and political debate about this new flood risk policy jeopardizes its legitimacy and effectiveness.
The article builds on the work carried out for the BASE project on national climate adaptation policies.