Worldwide the water management of delta’s, rivers and coastal regions – often hotspots of biodiversity – is a major challenge, in particular in view of climate change and the dramatic decline of biodiversity. Climate change and –adaptation are hot but what about the implementation on a local scale. What are the consequences for local water management, land and water use? Altenburg & Wymenga ecological consultants, based in Feanwâlden, initiated the program Better Wetter, which is targeted to come up with practical solutions for climate adaptation on a local level. The program‘s study area is situated in a peat-area in the North-eastern part of Fryslân.
The problems in the Frisian peat meadows – land subsidence and greenhouse gas emission – and the challenges associated with climate change require a new orientation on the water management of the low parts of Fryslân. In order to ensure agricultural use in the future, a water system is needed that can absorb water surpluses and shortages, and supports a land use under wetter conditions. This requires more flexible water management in time and space, including water storage (limiting flooding) and water retention (counteracting drought). Better Wetter focuses on finding opportunities for this and develop (new) revenue models under these kinds of circumstances. These revenue models contribute to the (socio-) economic perspective in the region and empower the support for local (spatial) changes in water management. ‘Better Wetter’ refers to a better water system: ecologically more vital, more resilient, healthier and more sustainable. We summarize this mission as: Better Wetter makes work of future-proof water management.