One-day stress test for the municipality of Zeewolde

The municipality of Zeewolde has conducted a climate stress test in collaboration with the Zuiderzeeland district water board. With the stress test, the municipal authorities aim to raise climate change awareness among its staff and expand knowledge of climate effects.

Stress test set-up

The stress test was rather special in set-up: after some preparations, some twenty municipal and water board staff identified vulnerable locations in Zeewolde within a single day. In preparation for the test, satellite images, calculation software (Tygron), and the Climate Impact Atlas were used to map out locations prone to heat stress and waterlogging.

The one-day stress test started with an interactive morning session, during which the maps were validated and adjusted on the basis of local expertise and experience. The session was attended by staff from several disciplines, such as spatial planning, the environment, infrastructure, and ecology.

Subsequently, the session honed in on eight locations prone to waterlogging and heat stress. With respect to these locations, an initial risk dialogue was conducted: will the climate effects cause problems and how could we resolve such problems?

Hittestress kaart

Image: Heat map ensuing from the stress test.

During the afternoon session, the staff cycled to six of the vulnerable locations in order to view the situation on site. Upon their return, collective conclusions were drawn regarding the outcomes of the day. In the evening, the conclusions were presented to the Zeewolde municipal council.


Image: Cycling to locations prone to heat stress and water logging.

Results of the stress test

The stress test has provided the staff involved with information on climate effects. In addition, it has generated the insight that the municipality can achieve a great deal by making minor adjustments. The knowledge generated by the stress test bears immediate application in regular management and maintenance activities.

By conducting a first risk dialogue, consensus was reached regarding solution strategies. A next step is devising which solutions hold the most promise for Zeewolde.

The Zeewolde municipal council has commissioned the further development of the climate adaptation process. The next step in the process is expanding the stress test with more knowledge of the locations. In doing so, the council would like to focus more attention on the climate effects of drought and heat. The experience gained with drought and heat during the summer of 2018 plays a major role in this respect.

Lessons to be learned from the project

  • The wide spectrum of expertise among the participants in the stress test enabled the various risks and opportunities to be gathered quickly.
  • Going outside collectively is not just sociable but also enables the participants to immediately apply the theory acquired in actual practice. This gave rise to evocative discussions on water run-off, even among staff whose regular duties do not cover water issues.
  • The feedback provided to the municipal council ensures administrative commitment and generates the basis for the subsequent steps in the process.

Contact persons

Willemijn Rossen 
Waterschap Zuiderzeeland

Simon Troost
Aveco de Bondt

Project type
Stress test
Gemeente Zeewolde, Waterschap Zuiderzeeland en Aveco de Bondt
Drought, Heat, Waterlogging