In this section, we present the results of the various analytical explorations that have been carried out. Table 2 shows the results of the analytical exploration of strategy 1. According to the authors, strategy 1 implies a number of structure changes in each of the considered domains. In the institutional domain, the most profound structure that seems necessary to change is the water level agreement of Lake IJsselmeer when the water level is allowed to rise. Raising the level also implies water level adjustments in nearby regional water systems (also in response to altering groundwater tables). This should be regulated in local water level agreements and maybe even in national water policy plans as well, since the implications are profound. Financially, in order to fund the large scale dike raising program implied by this strategy, the authors point out that substantial budgets would have to be reserved. With regard to the cultural domain, the authors assess that the current discourse is momentarily not quite creating the right condition for this strategy. Policy reports and other documentation written within the Delta Program show that the current discourse is tending strongly to maintain the current water level. So, instead of raising the level considerably, a flexible water level will be introduced first. Although one could argue that this might still lead to raising the level in the future, regional authorities are currently opposing that option. Supported by research on the effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, current belief with regard to raising the level structurally seems to be inclined towards ‘not necessary and too expensive’. Support from the local community for raising dikes, harbours and other infrastructure seems unlikely according to the authors. Although they do not know this for a fact, raising the dikes and the water level affects recreational activities and the ‘experience’ related to living or working near the IJsselmeer negatively. On the other hand, farmers depending on fresh water from the lake would probably welcome the additional water buffer during dry summers. In the economic domain, the authors could not clearly identify necessary structural changes. They see no reason why existing economic activities in the region (i.e. harbours and private companies near the shore) could not continue after they have adjusted their infrastructure (new wharfs etc.). In the knowledge domain, it seems that there is no clear need for a fundamental different knowledge development or training programmes either. There is already a great deal of experience with this kind of engineering work in the Netherlands. It would, however, be sensible to set up a research program to study effects and specific solutions.

Table 2

Institutional and socio-cultural analysis of strategy 1 (Current policy → Raising water level IJssel lake → Raising water level IJssel lake)

DomainStructureStructure elements of strategy 1ActorsGovernance level of complexity
Institutional 
  • Responsibilities

  • Norms

  • Legislation

  • Policy plans

  • Budget

  • Procurement

 
  • Adjust Water level agreement

  • Adjust National water plan, local water management plan, spatial plan

  • Create Investment fund

 
  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament

 
  • 3

  • 3

  • 4

 
Social 
  • Belief systems

  • Awareness

 
  • Change discourse that raising water level is necessary for freshwater supply

  • Raise awareness

  • Create local support

 
  • Knowledge institutes, Officials

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

 
  • 5

  • 4

  • 4

 
Economic 
  • Economic activity

  • Logistic

 
Adjust recreational facilities, restaurants, etc. Entrepreneurs 
Knowledge 
  • Research programs

  • Simulation/forecasting software tech.

 
Set up research program for raising water level of Lake Ijsselmeer Knowledge institutes 
DomainStructureStructure elements of strategy 1ActorsGovernance level of complexity
Institutional 
  • Responsibilities

  • Norms

  • Legislation

  • Policy plans

  • Budget

  • Procurement

 
  • Adjust Water level agreement

  • Adjust National water plan, local water management plan, spatial plan

  • Create Investment fund

 
  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament

 
  • 3

  • 3

  • 4

 
Social 
  • Belief systems

  • Awareness

 
  • Change discourse that raising water level is necessary for freshwater supply

  • Raise awareness

  • Create local support

 
  • Knowledge institutes, Officials

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

  • Parliament, Ministry, Rijkswaterstaat, Waterboards, Provinces, Municipalities

 
  • 5

  • 4

  • 4

 
Economic 
  • Economic activity

  • Logistic

 
Adjust recreational facilities, restaurants, etc. Entrepreneurs 
Knowledge 
  • Research programs

  • Simulation/forecasting software tech.

 
Set up research program for raising water level of Lake Ijsselmeer Knowledge institutes 

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