Innovative solutions to improve the quality of nature and our living environment

Human activities are putting increasing pressure on both natural landscapes and our immediate living environment. Governments, area managers and private developers are searching for innovative solutions that will allow, for example, housing, agriculture, water extraction and recreation without inflicting damage and that will improve the quality of degraded ecosystems.

Deltares helps them to develop ‘green’ business models, sustainable production chains and responsible management. The emphasis is on innovative solutions that use the power of nature (‘nature-based engineering’).


Helping decision-makers with scenarios

A good balance between the economy and the responsible use of natural resources is the guiding principle behind sustainable policy. Deltares explores the opportunities and threats in an area, and the possible consequences of human activities. That generates different scenarios for governments and administrators that set out the pro’s and con’s of specific measures, allowing for more-informed decisions. Measurements and results in one area can also help decision-making elsewhere. In that way, knowledge from Deltares can be used to establish stakeholder support.

Minimising the impact of agricultural land use

Drought at corn field

Drought at corn field

The growing world population is also leading to increasing pressure on land use. As a result, important raw materials are being depleted and there are negative effects on water and soil. Integral and innovative solutions can be used to reduce the burden generated by agriculture. In collaboration with the sector, government authorities and nature organisations, Deltares searches for mitigation pathways for those solutions (what, where and when), which include buffer zones or innovative drainage approaches.



Keeping urban and industrial areas liveable and profitable

Water, soil and the subsurface are important to keep our cities liveable and our industry profitable. We use our knowledge about water and the soil to collaborate with municipal authorities, developers and industry to identify integral solutions and sustainable planning methods. In that way, we work on improving the water quality in the city and on the development of green remediation methods for soil and groundwater.

Ecological value

EU legislation (the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Framework Directive and Natura 2000) requires cost-effective measures to enhance the quality of nature. Deltares helps national and regional authorities to harmonise local interests and then to implement the associated legislation. We work throughout the world with universities, research institutes and NGOs on improving knowledge about ecosystems, knowledge that helps managers of rivers, lakes and coastal zones to improve protection as well as the ecological value of their areas.