Water Management and Soil Movement

Soil subsidence and water systems influence one another. However, to what degree? What are the consequences? What is the action perspective? More insight into soil movement leads to better social choices in the long term.

In large parts of the world the soil is moving, the Netherlands being no exception: in the west and north the soil is subsiding, in the south and east it is rising. A large part of the Dutch soils consists of soft clay and peat layers, especially in the densely populated Delta, which is home to the Randstad conurbation – the economic heart of the Netherlands. It has a population of 9 million people and accounts for 70 percent of the total income earned. The soft soils continues to subside, in certain places even faster than the rise in sea levels.

Drone picture of soil and water on the left of a highway and a city on the right
Image: ©Gerhard van Roon / Hollandse Hoogte

Substantial investments are needed to keep the costs associated with soil subsidence manageable in the long term. As such, it is important to know what soil subsidence means for the groundwater system and the surface water. That data and knowledge spawn new action perspectives and allow choices to be made in the areas of water management, sustainable land use and flood risk management.

Some key existing projects and initiatives for soil movement are the Soft Soil platform, the Climate, Water and Soil Subsidence knowledge programme, the Knowledge and Innovation Programme for Soil and Subsoil, and the National Soil Movement Information Provision. This is an open, transparent, public basic information provision for soil movement.

If you would like to know more about Water Management and Soil Movement, please click here or contact Corné Nijburg.