The cabinet wants the Dutch to use less drinking water. At present, consumption is still at an average of 125 liters per person per day, in 2035 this may only be 100 litres.
Because water is becoming scarcer, a saving of 20 percent is necessary, the cabinet writes. Not only citizens but also companies must do their bit. At the same time, to ensure that water remains of good quality, companies will soon be allowed to discharge less cooling water into rivers and other waterways. This prevents surface water from heating up further.
The water level in the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer will also continue to fluctuate. Now there is a maximum height difference of 20 centimeters. This will soon be 50 centimeters. This measure means that larger quantities of water can be stored in the largest lakes in the Netherlands, which are also referred to as the National Rain Barrel by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Less stones, more green
The cabinet also wants no more construction in places that may be necessary to store or drain water. Think of floodplains of rivers or the deepest point of polders. At the same time, cities must ensure that there are fewer stones and more greenery. As a result, excess rainwater can be drained off sooner and cities warm up less during hot periods.
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Earlier this week, it was already leaked that the cabinet wants to raise the groundwater level in various places in the country. Due to a higher water level, peat areas will rot less and therefore emit less CO2. A higher level also prevents the ground, and therefore houses, from subsiding. But it also makes the soil more waterlogged, which means that farmers are less able to work their land with tractors. Cows can’t walk well on it either.
The package of measures is intended to ensure that there is sufficient clean water and healthy soil in the future. “We are now increasingly reaching the limits, due to intensive use and climate change,” says Minister Mark Harbers (I&W). “By taking more account of our water, we can continue to live and work in the Netherlands in the future.”
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