Partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

In 2006, IHE Delft and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under this agreement IHE Delft runs an educational programme for the specific countries that the ministry has a strategic relationship with, and covers scholarships for MSc and PhD students, tailor-made courses for senior government officials, and the financing of specific small projects. Currently, the partnership is already in the fourth phase (2015-2018).

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management maintains international relations to enable the exchange of information, knowledge and experience on water management in deltas. Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, India, Iran, Mozambique, Egypt, Colombia and USA are all delta-countries with similar challenges, and thus the countries on which the cooperation agreement focuses. The cooperation between the ministry and IHE Delft is unique.

The ministry profits from IHE Delft’s experience in teaching courses to people with different cultural backgrounds. IHE’s alumni are part of a vast network of professionals that understand and have experience with the Dutch delta situation. These alumni later become sparring partners so that water management in the Netherlands profits from the experience, creativity and diversity of government professionals over the world. Outcomes of this cooperation can be divided into three categories:

  1. Water Mondiaal and other international Initiatives
  2. Innovation Programme (Delta technology, Water technology, Maritime)
  3. Top Sector Water

City2City exchange for disaster resilience

The City2City (C2C)  aims to support local governments to implement policies and governance for the Making Cities Resilient (MCR) Campaign of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). This global campaign provides local governments of different sizes and types (over 2500 cities) with a framework for disaster risk reduction.

It focuses on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which seeks:

  • a substantial reduction in global disaster mortality;
  • a substantial reduction in numbers of affected people;
  • a reduction in economic losses in relation to global GDP;
  • substantial reduction in disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, including health and education facilities;
  • an increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020;
  • enhanced international cooperation; and
  • increased access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments.

In the Netherlands, Delft and Dordrecht were the first cities to take part in the MCR Campaign – together with IHE Delft. The role of IHE Delft has (initially) been to provide support on the implementation of the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool (the Ten Essentials). These Ten Essentials are interlinked with the priorities for action, as defined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

In March 2015, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Japan Bosai Platform have joined the UNISDR in an innovative partnership to strengthen urban resilience. In a ‘Statement of Cooperation for Implementation of Resilient Cities Connect’ (RCC), the three partners agreed to develop a means (RCC) to link suppliers of resilience building services and tools with the cities that need them.

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Strategic positioning for strengthening resilient cities

There is consensus about climate change and its effects on different environmental systems, particularly coastal areas. Being at the interface of sea and land, mangroves are especially vulnerable to climate change. Mangrove ecosystems offer a.o. protection against floods and act as nurseries for commercially attractive fish and shrimp species. Rising sea levels are considered to be the major threat to mangroves, although other climate-driven factors including rainfall and temperature also play a role.

In this research project, a simple hydrodynamic model coupled with a plant demographic model was constructed for exploring ecological mechanisms and functional dynamics in mangrove forest ecosystems. The model showed the effects of climate-driven factors on the early stages of the life cycle of mangroves, including the seasonal variation of seedling mortality. A set of climate scenarios was applied to models for Bangladesh and Kenya. The tree density was increased under different climate scenarios in both places. By supporting this initiative the ministry facilitates Dutch knowledge transfer to its partner Delta country Bangladesh and the research contributes to global and local adaptation to climate change.

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UN SDG-GEMI Knowledge Sharing

Under the umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular the dedicated Goal on Water and Sanitation, Goal 6, a set of core indicators for national and global monitoring of SDG 6 has been proposed by UN-Water after an extensive consultation process with other organisations. In order to integrate and expand existing monitoring efforts on some of the targets within SDG 6, a global monitoring initiative, Integrated monitoring of water and sanitation related SDG targets - GEMI, has been developed.

GEMI focuses on monitoring efforts on wastewater treatment and water quality, water use and use-efficiency, integrated water resources management and water-related ecosystems (SDG targets 6.3 to 6.6). Six so called ‘proof of concept’ (PoC) countries have been selected in order to test the viability of the existing and/or new indicators. The Netherlands is one of the Proof of Concept countries.

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SOBEK Training - 2nd Tailor-made Training

Learning how to properly use a morphodynamic model and correctly interpret its results requires deep understanding of the processes involved, such as open-channel hydrodynamics and river morphodynamics, including sediment transport, and mastering the numerical tool (SOBEK-RE) itself. That is why the tailor-made training 'The use of hydro-models for the Ayeyarwady delta development' is organized in Myanmar.

The training is divided in three parts, covering open-channel hydrodynamics and 1D hydrodynamic modelling, river morphodynamics and 1D morphodynamic modelling. Part 1 and Part 3 are carried out in Delft, at IHE Delft. Part 2 is carried out in Myanmar.

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Lake water quality modelling using real-time data supplied by flow cytometers: the case of Taihu lake, China

The project revolves around an MSc thesis research of 6 months and has the aim to develop a surrogate model for representation of the water quality in lake Taihu, China. The model will be build based on the inputs coming from a hydrodynamic and water quality model of Taihu lake, which was developed in previous years.

Use of flow cytometer data for water quality management in Taihu lake, China (Yuan Zhuang)

The project revolves around an MSc study that will last for 6 months. One of the important goals of this MSc study is to create a surrogate model for Lake Taihu, model that can be further used in a Decision Support System. As such it will provide a platform to test the applicability of this methodology. 

In the long-term, this study is likely to contribute towards creating new opportunities for Dutch expertise to engage in development and monitoring activities in the Taihu Lake as well. 

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has an on-going cooperation with Taihu basin authority, especially in the area of water quality of the Taihu lake, and lately flood risk in the Taihu Basin, this study will provide additional knowledge and network to enhance the activities of the Ministry and other Dutch organisations in China.

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Support CEWP on Chinese Europe cooperation on Sponge Cities

China is a country that is particularly affected by water-related challenges in relation to and partly caused by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Similar problems can also be observed in Europe, which makes the sponge city concept also very relevant in the EU context and for European cities. 

The CEWP project will ultimately support a EUCN High Level policy on water issues and through its support to CEWP. It aims to promote business and technology exchange, a policy dialogue and joint research and innovation. Hence, the project will contribute to the knowledge base for water sensitive solutions in European cities.

A main feature of the activities under this project is a structured knowledge exchange approach. Local differences between cities are identified and normalised to create a ‘level playing field’ in which knowledge and experience is better disseminated, adopted and applied. The activities will foster horizontal and vertical exchange: local urban planners, water engineers, social engagement experts, city executives and local politicians.

The activities involve:

  • Assessing the city profiles (desk study and interviews) (cities involved are: Beijing, Chinese city to be defined, Amsterdam, Turku, Copenhagen, Gothenburg) based on a C2CLearning methodology developed by IHE;
  • Reporting on the outcomes of the assessment and interviews on City Profiles;
  • Providing support to organize the dedicated session at at AIWW 2017. This will involve developing a draft program, moderating discussions and reporting;
  • A final report will be drafted to capture the conclusions of the activities mentioned above and to define learning objectives and methodologies for the CEWP project.
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Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Henk Ovink

Mr. Henk Ovink has been appointed Special Envoy for International Water by the government of the Netherlands. In this position, Ovink is responsible for maintaining good relations with foreign governments, knowledge institutions, umbrella organizations, coordinating and representative bodies, the business community and civil society organizations. He also maintains direct contact with bilateral and multilateral actors such as the World Bank, the United Nations, the OECD and the EU. 

Given its extensive international (alumni and partners) network, experience and knowledge of integrated water management and highly skilled staff, IHE Delft is well placed to mobilize these resources to provide customized support to the Special Envoy to fulfilling these key tasks. 

Typically assignments comprise an assessment of pressing water issues of a specific country, region or city, the provision of relevant geographical, technical and/or institutional data of a specific country, region or city or the identification and mobilization of alumni of a specific country, region or city, who are capable to extend the reach and influence of the Special Envoy to advance his mission.

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Cooperation between delta countries

Cooperation between Delta Countries

This brochure gives more detailed information on the cooperation between IHE Delft and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.


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