Dutch Case study

North Holland Province

Our project partners, VUA and HHNK, will lead the Dutch case study and are highly ambitious regarding the circular use of water resources.

Case Study Overview

Discover Holland's Challenges

The Academic partner VUA will oversee the Dutch case study with support from the water authority Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK), responsible for managing water quality and quantity in the province of North Holland. HHNK is highly ambitious about the circular use of water resources. They are exploring new approaches to managing, using, and returning raw materials extracted from the water cycle. However, a business plan for selling materials from water bodies under HHNK’s management has yet to be developed.

Our Methodology & Expected results

Preserving Fresh Water Supply & Quality

The major challenge we face as water managers is transitioning to a sustainable circular water system. Achieving this goal requires collaboration with our surrounding environment. To this end, we are investing in our organization and developing the environmental scan tool. HHNK is focused on creating sustainable methods for managing, utilizing, and distributing the fresh water supply in the region.

The exact case study details are still being specified in collaboration with VUA. Currently, HHNK is developing the environmental scan tool (see figure).

HHNK’s governing area spans 196,600 hectares, of which 34,050 hectares are urbanized. This area includes 28 municipalities and is home to 1.17 million inhabitants, whose wastewater is treated by HHNK. With 15 wastewater treatment plants, we purify over 100 million liters of wastewater annually. Additionally, 8% of the area consists of surface water managed by HHNK in terms of levels, quantity, and quality.

HHNK is committed to a holistic approach and aims to create a positive impact through close collaboration with stakeholders, including other governmental bodies (province, municipality), the drinking water company (PWN), private parties, and grassroots organizations.

The case study concentrates on the water authorities responsible for managing water in the province of North Holland, excluding the city of Amsterdam. This area, home to 1.2 million people, lies 75% below sea level. The responsible water authorities face several challenges related to the WEFE nexus, such as flood risk management, maintaining water quality, and protecting vulnerable habitats in nature reserves.

Currently, HHNK’s primary challenge is maintaining the fresh water supply and quality. This is exacerbated by a growing population, increased housing demands, the expansion of large-scale industries, and prolonged droughts, all of which contribute to a significant decline in the fresh water supply.”

Our Local Engagement Activites

Engaging Stakeholders to Address Water-Related Issues