Cover report Weerbaar Waterland

In the summer of 2021, a so-called ‘water bomb’ hit Wallonia, which Flanders managed to elude in the nick of time. If the storm clouds would have displaced over Flanders, IMDC and De Vlaamse Waterweg estimated a damage of up to 8 billion euros. Ministers Lydia Peeters (Mobility and Public Works, Open VLD) and Zuhal Demir (Environment, N-VA) commissioned an expert panel to write an advice on flood protection. The panel was led by Dutch ‘Water Envoy’ Henk Ovink and was supported by De Vlaamse Waterweg, de Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij and Architecture Workroom. 

The result of the panel: a report called ‘Weerbaar Waterland’, containing a ten-point plan to better protect Flanders against floods and drought. The report is not just an advice concerning dike protection and readiness, encouraging measures on all levels: from main water sources to the smallest capillaries, granting attention to all possible methods for buffering and infiltrating in cities, villages and landscapes. 

‘If water does not get the space it needs, it will take this space itself, as we have seen last summer’, writes Henk Ovink. The report does not only state what we need to protect us against future periods of rainfall, but also pleads for an integrated approach with measures against periods of drought – a big challenge, as we have encountered this summer. 

The report focuses on feasibility and efficiency, advising on necessary steps, possibilities for funding, mandates and learning environments that can help achieve a better resilience. 

Read the report here (in Dutch).

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6. Mar 2024


From 15 to 24 March, the Flanders Technology and Innovation Festival will take place. At several locations in Flanders and Brussels, technological and social innovators will pitch their tents to share their vision of the future with the general public. As innovation house for transformation, we are happy to make our contribution to this.  → more