Collaboration between Witteveen+Bos and Utrecht University confirmed

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Engineering firm Witteveen+Bos and Utrecht University (UU) are entering into a multi-year collaboration on climate change adaptation and public participation. The partnership was formally established on 19 May at the Utrecht Science Park.

The parties will work together on the further development of the website, which was developed by Witteveen+Bos to help people adapt their homes and gardens to climate change, thereby contributing to both drought and flood mitigation. IkBenWaterproof is being expanded to draw on the UU's knowledge of flood risk communication.

The website offers everyone simple advice on how to make their own home and garden climate-proof. All users need to do to get tailored advice on how to retain and store water on their property is enter their postcode and house number. To provide this advice, the website draws on a variety of public data sources, such as plot size, aerial photographs, soil type and groundwater levels.

With the help of Utrecht University, labels will also be assigned to plots in the future. This will take into account the probability of flooding from precipitation and flooding from the sea or river. If the plot is unlikely to be affected by water issues or flooding, it will receive a good label (e.g., A or B); if, on the other hand, there is a high risk of water issues or flooding, it will be given a lower label (e.g., E or F). This will give residents an instant overview of how vulnerable their plot is to these issues. The website also offers suggestions for flood prevention and mitigation, making it easy for everyone to play their part in making their homes more climate-proof. Additional features will be added to the website during the summer.

Through this collaboration, the IkBenWaterproof tool will be expanded and enriched with the UU's scientific knowledge on risk communication. It will also provide UU with an accessible outlet for its research in an application designed for citizens. ‘By collaborating with UU, we hope to contribute to the first ‘Delta Works' being developed in collaboration with citizens and making the Netherlands climate-proof,’ says Herman Mondeel, PMC leader for Water Management and Climate Adaptation at Witteveen+Bos.

In the longer term, the plan is to expand IkBenWaterproof to include other climate issues, such as heat stress. The ultimate goal is to develop an online application that will help people to take the right steps towards climate-proofing their own homes and properties.

Curious to find out how your property fares? Check whether your home is well prepared for extreme rainfall. From this summer, you will also be able to use the website to check your property's label for water issues and flooding.

More information?

Daniël van der Heuvelf.jpg
Daniël van den Heuvel Project Engineer Urban Water and Climate Adaptation