Whenever the Dutch government faces a challenge that is about too much or too little water, or concerning the subsurface – for instance in the built environment – they rely on the knowledge of Deltares. This major institute, which employs 800 professionals, contributes with its expertise to innovative and sustainable solutions. Their employees are working worldwide focusing on deltas, coastal regions and river basins.
‘Approximately 40 percent of our activities are carried out outside the Netherlands,’ said Renée Talens, Regional Manager Africa at Deltares. ‘We are increasingly focusing on Africa. Together with the economic growth of the continent, major challenges have to be addressed. Climate change and unpredictable weather already have huge consequences for Africa. Also, think of the rapid urbanisation. Mega-cities need to become more resilient, assets better protected,’ Ms. Talens said.
Deltares philosophy is ‘dare to share’. An example: ‘We have developed advanced software for flood prediction. This was made available in open-source, so it is easy for others to get and use our software,’ according to Ms. Talens. ‘Since it is open source, other experts worldwide also help us to develop it further. We also develop research methods and software to safeguard the quality of water that can be used as drinking water or for aquaculture.’
The institute often carries out programmes on behalf of the World Bank or the African Development Bank, next to national governments, NGO’s or multinationals.