Water is a globally important topic. Climate change has far-reaching consequences in terms of global security and the availability of sufficient fresh water. The effects of climate change also engender water-related problems at the mouths of rivers, along the coast, and in higher areas of drainage basins. The transition between periods of water surplus and water shortage is becoming increasingly intense. This situation requires a dynamic approach that anticipates future extreme weather conditions. The changing nature of the weather also has an increasingly large impact on water quality. It is important that fresh water remains usable whilst in temporary storage.
Worldwide, flooding is responsible for security risks and causes economic damage. In the Western world, the economic effects of drought periods are often underestimated, despite the fact that climate change is noticeably increasing drought-related economic and environmental risks in the Netherlands and Western Europe. Worldwide, whole nations are confronted with shortages of fresh water, with serious consequences for the supply of drinking water, food production, health, environment-related activities and recreational opportunities.
This requires us to develop a large-scale, more integrated and more dynamic approach to tackle problems related to water quantity and water quality. Rolling out integrated water-related measures, such as storing water to prevent floods, retaining it to prevent drought and purifying it, involves taking into account extremely important economic and ecological interests. The Netherlands wants to better utilise its unique knowledge position in this area and be a guide to others in the development of innovative solutions to these social challenges. By doing so, the country aims to facilitate economic growth as well as gain an improved international export position. In order to achieve this, RichWaterWorld provides a unique concept for dynamic water management, which consolidates water storage, retention and purification in one area.