The upper house of parliament, or senate, has voted in favour of draft legislation which will cut the influence of industry and farmers on the country’s 21 water boards.
Currently, seven to nine seats on each waterboard are reserved for farming, environmental and industrial representatives, but that will no longer be the case at the next waterboard elections in March 2023.
The senate voted by 37 to 32 in favour of a GroenLinks and D66 motion which will scrap the seats reserved for industry and limit farmers and environmental groups to two each.
Representatives for the secret seats are nominated by farm lobby group LTO, the VNO-NCW employers organisation and green group association VBNE.
Waterboards have 30 seats, and the rest are voted along according to party lines. Their main role is to decide on investments and new projects but they have an increasingly important role in the ongoing climate and nitrogen debates.
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