The Dutch dominant perspective on water: risks and opportunities involved

J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2013;48(10):1164-77. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2013.776438.


To implement or continue water management strategies social support is needed. Social support highly depends on people's perspectives on water. However, these perspectives are not static and may change over time leading to changes in social support for strategies. Therefore, sustainable water management strategies should be robust. Robust strategies are able to cope with changing social and environmental developments. Lacking robustness runs the risk of losing social support, which may force policymakers into sudden or expensive measures. We use the Perspectives Method to analyze the present Dutch policy perspective and the dominant perspective on water among Dutch water professionals, by respectively studying the Dutch Delta report and questionnaire outputs and distinguishing between Hierarchical, Egalitarian, Individualistic and Fatalistic perspectives. A comparison between the policy and professional perspective shows similarities and differences. Topics regarding drought, water supply, and waters' relation to spatial planning need serious reconsideration to guarantee enough present and future social support to implement the measures suggested in the policy report.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Netherlands
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Water Supply / analysis*