A large part of the infrastructure in the Netherlands - such as roads, railways and waterways but also pipelines, ports and flood defences - was designed and constructed in the 1950s and 1960s and is due for renovation or replacement. In addition, new infrastructure construction is inherent to a growing population and the need for an energy transition.
Changing societal wishes and uncertain climatic conditions challenge us to develop a coherent perspective on infrastructural systems, both nationally and internationally. Water and subsurface play a leading role in the resilient design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure.
Deltares develops and disseminates knowledge in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. Deltares looks at the functionality of infrastructural objects and networks in relation to each other, from the perspective of coherence. From that perspective, it brings together the knowledge of stakeholders: the government, the business community, start-ups, knowledge institutes and NGOs. So that the sustainable, social and economic impact of construction, replacement and maintenance is taken into account in decisions.
It is of great importance that infrastructure is viewed from an innovative perspective, whereby the limits of our water and soil system provide guiding principles. The decisions made in different phases of the life cycle determine how an infrastructure object or network functions. The development of resilient infrastructure challenges us to accept that a design may fail more often, but that we limit the damage of that failure as much as possible. And on the other hand, we strive to maximise the social benefits of the infrastructure. This means, for example, that infrastructure is optimally integrated into the environment. In addition, it is also important that existing infrastructure continues to function during this transition.
Decision information needed to make choices
Until 2030, Deltares will improve the decision information needed to make choices aimed at resilient construction and adaptation of infrastructure. We align our knowledge with the knowledge needed in decision-making processes. We test and improve our decision information based on increasingly better data, projections and methodologies. Consider, for example, digital twins. The boundaries of water and subsurface challenge us to make optimal and sustainable use of the possibilities of the natural system.
Infrastructure is designed, constructed and maintained in a resilient manner
By 2040, If infrastructure is designed, constructed and maintained in a resilient manner, this will offer the possibility to balance interests and make decisions at any time based on the then prevailing circumstances - in the field of the infrastructure’s life stage, population growth and climate change. At the lowest possible cost and with optimal sustainable, social and economic results.