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1.6: Important parties in the Netherlands

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    All over the world, many governmental and non-governmental organisations, institutes, universities, consultants and contractors are active in the field of coastal dynamics. Countries in the world in which coastal engineering and coastal morphology receive significant attention are amongst others:

    • Australia;
    • Belgium;
    • Brazil;
    • China;
    • Denmark;
    • France;
    • Germany;
    • Italy;
    • Japan;
    • Singapore;
    • South Africa;
    • Spain;
    • The Netherlands;
    • UK;
    • USA.
    截屏2021-10-12 下午9.22.49.png
    Figure 1.18: Elevation map of the Netherlands, illustrating the areas at risk of flooding. The figure is generated using the SRTM30 data set, which is comprised of a Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) flown in February 2000 (Farr & Kobrick, 2000) and the U.S. Geological Survey’s GTOPO30 data set. Data available on

    In the Netherlands coastal engineering has always been a very important topic for the simple reason that the ground level of large parts of the Netherlands is below MSL; see Fig. 1.18. Without dikes and dunes people would not be able to live in these parts of the country. The Dutch governmental organisations, consultants, contractors, research institutes and universities that are active in the field of coastal engineering and management are described below.


    Various parts of the Directorate-General of Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) and the Directorate- General Water, which are parts of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management are active in the field of coastal engineering and management.

    • Waterdienst Lelystad;
    • Directorate North Sea;
    • Regional Directorates of RWS.

    The various Provinces bordering the North Sea, are – at a mainly coordination level – also involved in coastal zone management. Also Water Boards play an important role in coastal zone management in the Netherlands.

    Consulting companies/contractors

    Many Dutch consulting companies and contractors are active in the field of coastal engineering and management; either in the design phase or in the execution of specific works. A non-exhaustive list of companies is (in alphabetical order):

    • Arcadis;
    • BAM;
    • Boskalis;
    • CDR International;
    • Lievense | WSP;
    • Royal HaskoningDHV;
    • Svašek Hydraulics;
    • Van Oord;
    • Witteveen and Bos.

    Research institutes

    Dutch research institutes are positioned in between consulting activities and academic, more fundamental research. Institutes active in the field of coastal engineering and coastal (eco-) morphology are:

    • NIOZ – The Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee);
    • Deltares – an independent institute for Delta Technology (formed in 2008 out of a merger between Delft Hydraulics, GeoDelft, parts of TNO and parts of Rijk-swaterstaat).


    The four Dutch universities strongly involved in education and research related to coastal engineering and coastal morphology are:

    1. DUT – Delft University of Technology;
    2. UU – Utrecht University;
    3. UT – Twente University;
    4. WUR – Wageningen University.

    In addition, the IHE Institute for Water Education offers hydraulic engineering education to practising professionals from developing countries.

    Research and management cooperation in the Netherlands

    • NCK – Netherlands Centre for Coastal Research, a cooperation between DUT, UU, UT, RWS-Water, TNO-NiTG, Deltares, NIOZ and the Netherlands Oceano-graphic Institute;
    • ENW–Expertise Network Water Defences (Expertise Netwerk Waterkeringen).

    This page titled 1.6: Important parties in the Netherlands is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Judith Bosboom & Marcel J.F. Stive (TU Delft Open) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.