Worldwide, the need for transformative change in urban water management is acknowledged by scientists and policy makers. The effects of climate change and developments such as urbanization, the European Water Framework Directive, and societal concerns about the sustainability of urban water system force the sector to adapt. In The Netherlands, a shift towards integration of spatial planning and water management can be observed. Despite major changes in water management policy and approach, changes in the physical urban water management infrastructure remain limited to incremental solutions and demonstration projects. Policy studies show that institutional factors and professional perceptions are important factors for application of innovations in urban water management. An online survey among Dutch urban water management professionals demonstrates that according to most respondents, optimization of the current system is sufficient to achieve both European and national objectives for sustainable urban water management. The respondents are most concerned with the effects of climate change on urban water systems. In contrast to current policy of the national government, priority factors that should be addressed to achieve a more sustainable urban water system are improving knowledge of local urban water systems, capacity building, developing trust between stakeholders, and improving involvement of elected officials and citizens.
Receptivity to transformative change in the Dutch urban water management sector
R. E. de Graaf, R. J. Dahm, J. Icke, R. W. Goetgeluk, S. J. T. Jansen, F. H. M. van de Ven; Receptivity to transformative change in the Dutch urban water management sector. Water Sci Technol 1 July 2009; 60 (2): 311–320. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2009.179
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