Hotspot Dry rural areas

Flooding and water stress are significant problems in agriculture and nature conservation. This presents water managers with new challenges, especially given the stricter requirements for water quality from the European Water Framework Directive. The current intensive use of land by agriculture is not climate proof and interferes with achievement of these water quality requirements. It also increases the risk of diseases and pests, such as bluetongue.

Large areas of countryside situated on higher sandy ground are currently undergoing a transition from a food production landscape to a more multifunctional landscape. During this transition, national and local governments try to encourage intensive livestock farms to switch from cost price oriented production for the world market to a market in which, for example, better quality or more consideration for animal welfare can be realised. This will help the system to make a contribution to water management, environmental quality, nature conservation and scenic qualities. An increasing number of individuals and non-agricultural businesses are joining farmers and searching for qualities that are found in rural areas and can become the new economic contributors to the countryside.

Arable crop area in Veluwe region

Climate change puts this complex transition process under heavy pressure, therefore businesses and individuals will increasingly choose to relocate to areas of the Netherlands which are above sea level. Consequently, the national ecological network needs to be made climate proof; the water retaining capacity of the landscape needs to increase; and more space is needed for water storage. These various claims on space will create a tension between private and public interests and so the need for coordination between spatial claims at different scales will become essential.

Objective
The objective of this hotspot was to develop knowledge regarding the effects of climate change on regional development in the short and medium term.

The themes that were addressed are:

    • Effects of water storage and effectiveness of measures on agricultural areas
    • Effects of water stress and effectiveness of measures
    • Effects of climate change (incl. water stress) on the realisation of the spatial national ecological network (connectivity) and biodiversity protection
    • Ways to incorporate climate related risks into the regional planning process

Midterm Assessment 2012 (webpage)
Frank van Lamoen (2012). Hotspot Dry Rural Areas, Midterm Assessment 2012, KfC report number 71/2012.

Projects and Publications

 An inventory of strategies to cope with climate change in dry rural sandy areas with a temperate climate: a case study in the Province of Gelderland

HSDR01: An inventory of strategies to cope with climate change in dry rural sandy areas with a temperate climate: a case study in the Province of Gelderland
The aim of this project was to create an overview of the consequences of climate change and possible adaptation measures on dry sandy areas in the rural areas of the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. This was needed for the inclusion of climate adaptation... read more

Combining spatial claims of land use functions and adaptive strategies to climate change in densely populated rural areas HSDR02: Combining spatial claims of land use functions and adaptive strategies to climate change in densely populated rural areas
This project was a participative reconnaissance study aiming to explore the possibilities of multifunctional landuse as an instrument for climate change adaptation strategies in sandy rural regions, especially in the province of Noord-Brabant. Guiding principle was... read more

HSDR3.5: Adaptive Implementation Arrangements
With this project we developed an approach to answer the question how adaptation strategies can be implemented in a flexible way and what role reflexive monitoring can play in this process. We developed the approach – that consists of a questionnaire, a serious game and the policy arrangement canvas - in an action research setting in two cases and by interaction during different other... read more 

In preparation of the theme several exploratory projects were conducted. The final reports are available:

Leeuwen, E. van, Koetse, M., Koomen, E. and Rietveld, P. (2009). Spatial economic research on climate change and adaptation, ISBN 978-94-90070-02-1, KvK rapportnummer KvK 002/2009. VBR07
Heijmans, M.P.D. and Berendse F. (2009). State of the art review on climate change impacts on natural ecosystems and adaptation, ISBN 978-94-90070-09-0, KvK rapportnummer KvK 009/2009. VBR12
Stoorvogel, J.J. (2009). Adaptation of Dutch agriculture to climate change. KfC Report Number 016/09, ISBN 978-94-90070-14-4. VBR12

List of all Dry Rural areas publications