Climate-adaptive thought and action in the Vallei en Eem region
Our climate is changing. Rather than sitting back, the Vallei en Eem Water Platform (PWVE) wants to actively explore how climate change will affect our region, how we can deal with the consequences, and what steps are needed to prevent or minimise the problems and damage. The PWVE has drawn up a programme plan to expand climate adaptation knowledge in the region during the period 2017 – 2020, to implement more measures in collaboration with residents, businesses and NGOs, and to anchor such measures in policy.
“More knowledge” and “more action” are the two pillars on which the Vallei en Eem Water Platform (PWVE) will focus in the years ahead, in order collectively to tackle the consequences of climate change. The plans have been set down in an interactive presentation that provides an overview of the impact of climate change in the region, and shows the course of action proposed by the Platform.
Climate change features high on the PWVE agenda, as it does among many organisations. In September 2015, programme manager Charles Rijsbosch set out to take stock of all the information pertaining to climate change, both within and beyond the Platform. His conclusion was that as yet, few municipalities have properly mapped out climate change, and few have set down policy regarding this issue. In order to raise awareness, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI has been commissioned to examine the climate trends in the entire area covered by the Vallei en Veluwe district water board. The results have been set down in an interactive presentation that was launched in September 2016. This presentation shows that precipitation volumes have grown substantially over the past fifty years. It also shows the predictions for the future. This study corroborates that it is really time to take action now.
More knowledge and more action
For the PWVE, such action entails that attention is focused on the collection and exchange of information (more knowledge), but additionally that we really set to work (more action). Climate change and its consequences, such as extreme downpours, periods of drought, and heat stress impact the entire spatial environment. Water managers and waste water managers cannot resolve such consequences on their own; this requires efforts on the part of more departments (spatial planning, the environment, real estate, greenery, traffic, et cetera). For example, the organisation of a climate workshop for all the departments within a municipality will contribute to the expansion of knowledge, and ensure a more broad-based embedment of the climate topic. The Platform also seeks expansion in the form of more contact and interaction with residents and companies on, e.g., the disconnection of rainwater. Furthermore, the Platform is actively involved in national initiatives, such as Operation Steenbreek, and the City Deal on Climate-proof Cities. The knowledge amassed is shared with the members through a range of meetings. A climate dossier on the website collects all the information, and serves as an online library (accessible to anyone).
The PWVE is convinced that everyone can contribute to climate-proofing the region: government authorities, residents, NGOs, and businesses. Collaboration is key, according to the Platform. Do not do it alone, but do it together; join forces, enter into dialogue, take a look at what others are accomplishing, try out new things. Work on climate change!
Platform Water Vallei en Eem
06 52 53 55 49