Almost half of people in the Netherlands are unaware what their local water board does, according to a survey carried out ahead of next month’s local elections.
Members of the 21 water boards are being chosen on March 15, the same day as the provincial elections. All residents eligible to vote, regardless of whether they have Dutch nationality.
A panel survey by Citisens commissioned by the water boards’ umbrella body Unie van Waterschappen found that while 72% of people were concerned about the effects of extreme weather, only 47% were aware of the role the water boards played in tackling it.
Only 40% said the risk of extreme weather made them more likely to take part in the water board elections, while just one in five knew which of the lists of candidates best represented their point of view
Four out of five people said plans for new build projects should do more to offset the impact of flooding and drought, while one in 10 – predominantly people under 40 – believed there should be no limits to development.
One in three people have planted more greenery in their garden to reduce the risk of flooding, 4% have planted a green roof and 1% have sandbags in their house.
Two thirds of people say waste water should be purified to the highest possible standard, while the rest say small amounts of pollution are permitted. But 80% say people should be more careful about what they throw down the drain and 10% support greater investment in water purification.
Roger van der Sande, chair of the Unie van Waterschappen, said: ‘As we increasingly experience extreme drought and flooding, the water boards can limit the damage, but not prevent it.
‘We can invest more in advance measures to prevent disruption as much as possible, but we can also repair it when it happens. These are the kinds of decisions that are central to the water board elections on March 15,’ he said.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation