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What do stakeholders have to say about sand nourishments? : The use of uncertainties to cope with gaps in water governance in the context of Dutch adaptation to climate change

Imada, R. (2017) What do stakeholders have to say about sand nourishments? : The use of uncertainties to cope with gaps in water governance in the context of Dutch adaptation to climate change.

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Abstract:Throughout the years, the protection of coasts around the world has been done by means of hard flood defense structures such as dikes and storm surge barriers. This type of structure would guarantee a high level of control over the environment. However, one major disadvantage of hard structures is their fixed dimensions, capable to withstand a certain maximum level. This drawback is particularly significant nowadays due to the increasingly rise in sea level caused by climate change. Climate change has brought a new mindset to the development and application of policies concerning the protection of the coast. In one front, it calls for the development of more sustainable and climate durable practices and mitigation strategies. While in the other, requires adaptation. In the Netherlands, the policy handling the adaptation to climate change is called Delta Programme. Within this policy, there are specific strategies and measures for the protection of the coast against floods. The Dutch coast, with almost 350 km of extension, is mainly sandy. Annually, the coast suffers from sand loss, requiring additional input of sand to maintain the basic coastline. Considering the natural characteristics of the Dutch coast and the need for more flexible and adaptable strategies for coastal flood protection, sand nourishments have been introduced as the main strategy in recent years. The use of sand nourishments is still a new development in many aspects, surrounded by many uncertainties on its effects on the functions of the coast. Given the dynamic and broad qualities of the coast, there are many different stakeholders directly or indirectly involved or affected by the implementation of these nourishments. Different views and interpretations of these actors are not always accounted for in the policy level, which could represent a lost opportunity for policymakers to strengthen the adaptive quality of the policy and increase its acceptability. Furthermore, during the implementation phase of nourishments, the existence of unaccounted for uncertainties can represent setbacks in project costs, effectiveness and also acceptability. In this thesis, I investigate how the different perspectives regarding sand nourishments from different actors directly or indirectly involved or affected in the process can benefit both policymakers (in the context of the Delta Programme) and practitioners in the implementation of nourishments projects. To this end, the relevant stakeholders are identified and interviewed to obtain their interpretations of sand nourishment as an adaptive strategy and this data is used to describe the system and its complexities in the form of uncertainties. The uncertainties obtained from the interviews, are then characterized and related to describe specific situations referring to sand nourishments. In the sequence these uncertainties are contextualized in the Delta Programme, and gaps between the identified uncertainties and the policy are identified. Next, a discussion of possible coping strategies to deal with the identified uncertainties is provided. Finally, the conclusions and recommendations are presented. Although the accuracy of this analysis may be limited, due to the lack of involvement of certain stakeholders, a short validation process and time constraints, the results of this study may provide insights to coastal managers to improve their adaptive policies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74046
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