Water knowledge vital to military missions

Published: 13 June 2018

Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Deltares conducted an exercise today for a scenario during a mission abroad. The scenario was fictitious but taken from real life: a situation from 2004 in which advice about flood risk management is required in the very short term. This is important for both the military and the inhabitants of the area. The exercise shows that Dutch water knowledge is not only important in the Netherlands but that it can also be used to protect Dutch troops and their environment. The exercise was therefore useful to ensure the success of peacekeeping missions abroad.

Rijkswaterstaat specifically opted for a defence scenario based on the Rijkswaterstaat partnership with WTEc (Water Risk Training Expertise centre), which includes the water partners Rijkswaterstaat, water management authorities and the Ministry of Defence.

The exercise proceeded directly from a 2015 agreement in which Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Union of Water Management Authorities and the Ministry of Defence agreed to exchange more knowledge, people and equipment with each other in the field of flood risk management, both nationally and internationally. This form of collaboration between the water partners, complemented by specialists in specific disciplines, fits in with the approach of the Adaptive Armed Forces. Given the time pressures, close cooperation between civil, military and knowledge partners is important to take informed decisions and deliver smart solutions during peacekeeping missions of this kind.