Klimaatadaptatie in het rivierengebied: Een geo-ecologisch perspectief.

Translated title of the contribution: Adapting the Netherlands' large rivers to climate change: A geo-ecological perspective

Frans Klijn, Nathalie Asselman, Erik Mosselman, Frederiek Sperna Weiland

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Door klimaatverandering verandert het afvoerregime van onze grote rivieren. Hoogwaters worden hoger en frequenter, laagwaters lager en langduriger. Hoe we daarop reageren hangt af van hoe we klimaatverandering zien: als opgave, of als kans om onvolkomenheden aan te pakken. In dit artikel presenteren we aanzetten voor een meer geo-ecologisch gefundeerde inrichting, of – naar McHarg – voor design with nature.

Climate change is expected to significantly influence the discharge regime of the Rhine and Meuse rivers. Floods may increase in magnitude and occur more frequently; low discharges are likely to become even smaller and last longer. How to respond to those changes? Can all river functions be fulfilled into the future and which interventions are then needed to keep the country safe and the rivers navigable? The answer to these questions depends on whether climate change is primarily considered as a challenge, or rather as an opportunity to, at the same time, redress a few deficiencies and detrimental geo-ecological developments that are being provoked by how we straightjacketed our floodplains and engineered our rivers in behalf of navigation but negatively impact biodiversity. We propose a more geo-ecologically grounded approach to our rivers’ spatial design and management – inspired by McHarg’s design with nature –, which encompasses making available much more room for safe flood discharge and reduced hydrodynamics for ecosystem development in the floodplains, as well as more nature-based river training to allow for morphological developments and natural rejuvenation.
Translated title of the contributionAdapting the Netherlands' large rivers to climate change: A geo-ecological perspective
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalLandschap: tijdschrift voor landschapsecologie en milieukunde
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Rijn
  • Maas
  • afvoerregime
  • sedimentatie
  • erosie
  • rivierbeheer
  • Morphological changes
  • Rhine River
  • Discharge regime
  • River management
  • Meuse River


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