The world faces unprecedented climate challenges and many of them are connected to having too much, too little and too dirty water. Although water is everywhere, only 2.5 percent is fresh water. While just under 70 percent is locked in glaciers, almost a third is groundwater. That leaves just 1 percent of fresh water readily available as surface water. That is why water is such a precious and finite resource.

The United Nations recognises the importance of water in its Sustainable Development Goals. SDG 6 is dedicated to water, but almost all the other SDGs are dependent on water in one way or another. Failure to achieve the SDGs and to address climate change could be catastrophic. Why, because water may cover 70 percent of the planet, but only 1 percent of all water (salt and fresh) on Earth is drinkable fresh water. And 99 percent of this potable water underground.

The Netherlands’ history, culture and future are inextricably linked to water. As a low-lying delta region on the western outskirts of the European continent, the Netherlands is has developed into a strong partner in:

  • integrated water management – for river basin management, urban resilience, and financing water management infrastructure.
  • water technology – for high-quality and sustainable wastewater management and resource recovery, and waste-to-energy solutions.
  • delta technology for climate adaptation and coastal management

Our oldest democratic institutions date back to the water boards set up in the 13th century. We have learnt that the best results are achieved through an inclusive process which takes the needs of all stakeholders into account. That is why the Netherlands works together with companies, knowledge institutions, NGOs, government and local communities to resolve water-related challenges at local, national and worldwide level. Where the Dutch once built dikes in the fight against water, we have now learned to live with water. Today water and delta technology harness the power of water, many of them employing nature-based solutions in inclusive stakeholder processes.

The Netherlands shares our water management and water and delta technology with our international partners. We envisage a future in which sewage is no longer waste but a valuable resource, in which man co-creates room for the rivers and in which together we build resilient cities and communities throughout the world.

Join us in creating a water-secure world with clean and safe water for all.


Groundwater photo: Pavel Danilyuk Pexels

2022 was the Year of Groundwater. World Water Day focussed on "making the invisible visible". Groundwater cannot be seen, but its impact is visible everywhere. Approximately 99% of the world’s liquid freshwater is groundwater. Groundwater is an important source for essentials such as drinking water, energy, food and ecosystems. Groundwater supplies 43% of global irrigation, making agriculture the largest consumer of freshwater resources. Furthermore, groundwater supplies 50% of all drinking water in the world and 30% of water used in industries. It also provides crucial support to ecosystems, the flows of rivers and prevents land subsidence and salinisation. See the NL Toolkit for Groundwater materials.

Find out what was said at the UN Groundwater Summit 7-8  December 2022.

And read more about Groundwater.

Get in touch and join us

Want to know more about how you can work together with the Netherlands to achieve your goals? Or how you can help contribute to or spread the word on campaigns, events and initiatives? Contact us directly at info@nlplatform.nl so we can help you connect to the right people.