As a professional – working for the government or in the private sector – you will come across climate adaptation either daily or occasionally. After all, climate change is affecting us all, and to an increasing extent. In this respect, it is good to know that the National Climate Adaptation Strategy and the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation are setting the course for the ways in which the Netherlands is adapting to the impact of climate change. This portal provides more information on this topic. The portal also features a list of available tools and inspiring practical examples to help you take concrete actions.

Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation

The Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation is a collective, national plan drawn up by municipalities, district water boards, provinces and the national government. It sets out concrete actions and goals for the governments responsible. The plan is aimed at expediting the spatial adaptation process and at reducing the noncommittal nature of the efforts, in order to ensure that the Netherlands will be water-resilient and climate-proof by 2050. We are expediting and intensifying the pursuit of water-resilient and climate-proof spatial design by working on seven ambitions. The seven ambitions of the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation involve a more detailed elaboration of the Guidelines for Spatial Adaptation drawn up in 2014, which revolved around the Analysis-Ambition-Action concept.

7 ambitiesFigure: 7 ambitions to render the Netherlands water-resilient and climate-proof.

This knowledge portal offers know-how, tools, and information to embark on the seven ambitions. Separate pages have been provided relating to the ambitions of Mapping out vulnerabilities, Conducting risk dialogues and drawing up strategiesPromotion and facilitation, and Regulating and Embedding.

National Climate Adaptation Strategy (NAS)

The National Climate Adaptation Strategy (NAS) is of interest to professionals because it considers the full spectrum of climate effects. The NAS extends beyond just the spatial component of adaptation and seeks to link up with other social taskings, as visualised in the NAS adaptation tool. A key opportunity for anyone embarking on climate adaptation is to try and link up with other taskings and investments in the spatial environment. The NAS gives impetus to new initiatives, and expedites and expands ongoing initiatives. The NAS builds on a decade of climate adaptation policy in the Netherlands. Together with the Delta Programme, it covers the Dutch climate adaptation tasking. To this end, the NAS and the Delta Programme are continuously working together and coordinating their activities.

What tools are available in terms of spatial adaptation?

Over recent years, several parties have developed a host of tools to support spatial adaptation efforts. The tools page presents a list of the tools available. Use the filter to quickly view the tools that are available free of charge. Examples of frequently used free tools are the Climate Impact Atlas, the measures database Green-blue Grids, and the NAS adaptation tool.

The Guidelines for climate adaptation in built-up areas offer construction and infrastructure companies practical information on climate adaptation in their field of work. This article contains seven tips for municipal authorities to climate-proof their tenders.

Where do I find inspiring examples, and how do I get in touch with other professionals?

The map of examples provided on the knowledge portal shows more than 200 examples of spatial adaptation in the Netherlands, such as stress tests, risk dialogues, and completed measures. Are you working on spatial adaptation and would you like to showcase your project? Let us know.

Are you looking for specific practical experience and know-how on climate adaptation? In many cases, other locations in the Netherlands have already accomplished something similar to what you are planning. Within its extensive network, the Climate-proof Together platform will look for people with practical experience and/or products that may help you. Could you use some active input from others? Please fill in the contact form!

How do I involve and activate residents?

Spatial adaptation involves adjustments to public space, business premises, and private property. In many cases, this means that several parties need to collaborate in order to render an area climate-proof and water-resilient. As a professional, how can you involve residents in a neighbourhood project? How can you raise regional awareness of climate adaptation? And how can you encourage residents to embark on climate adaptation?  Several model projects and tools are available that may help you in this respect. Some examples:

What incentive funds are available?

In November 2018, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the Association of Dutch Regional Water Authorities, the Association of Provincial Authorities, and the national government signed the Administrative agreement on climate adaptation. This sets out agreements regarding the (future) funding of implementation projects with effect from 2021. The Administrative Agreement also reconfirms that by the end of 2020, municipalities, district water boards, and provinces must have mapped out the taskings and measures by means of stress tests, risk dialogues, and implementation agendas. Government organisations may apply – individually or collectively – for a grant to support this process. In addition, bodies that have completed the process may apply for a grant in order to launch a pilot project. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management has set additional funds aside to support this process: a total of EUR 20 million for 2019 and 2020. This page provides more information on the instruments available, the (selection) criteria, and the procedure.

Are you working with European grants? Or would you like to know how you can qualify for an EU grant? The EU Grant Guide gives you the answers to more than 100 questions on European water- and climate-related grants.

Entrepreneurs investing in adaptation measures qualify for tax benefits. The Environment list 2019 lists the measures that qualify for such benefits.


This page presents (and refers to) information that can help you to engage in spatial adaptation. Are you unable to find specific information or do you have any questions? Please pass on your comment or question via the helpdesk.