By 2030, the demand for freshwater in the Netherlands is likely to exceed the available supply by up to 30 %. Without immediate action by the national government, provinces, water boards and consumers, these extra cubic meters of water cannot be extracted, and drinking water shortages will arise, the RIVM warns. This shortfall could significantly affect the country’s economy, environment and public health .
Four Dutch provinces already struggle with insufficient water reserves to guarantee drinking water at peak times in the summer months. They would be powerless in the face of unexpected increases in drinking water demand. In other Dutch provinces, drinking water companies are called to find additional water sources within the next few years to continue satisfying the increasing demand of water .
Nonetheless, these water companies are already facing their own challenges. Often, they use all surface- or groundwater they are licenced to extract, thus resulting in insufficient reserves. And yet, recent nature protection agreements with the government should prevent extraction of the total quantity of water permitted under older licences .