The Netherlands is a water-rich country. Rivers, lakes and canals all define the appearance of the country. We need the water, but we also need to protect ourselves from it. Dykes must be kept safe and the water clean and healthy. Nor may the water rise too high or fall too low. For 850 years now, the Water Authorities (waterschappen) have seen to this. The water authorities regulate how public money – i.e. your taxes – is spent to keep feet dry and water clean. On March 18 you are allowed to vote again. Yes, you too: non-Dutch citizens may vote in the water authorities elections if they are either EU nationals or have a valid Dutch residence permit!
Vote for Water Natuurlijk
Every political party in the Water Authorities will guarantee safe dykes and clean water. But there is a big difference in how parties want to organize this. Water Natuurlijk (Natural Water) is a independent party (not directly affiliated with any Dutch political party – so we are not represented in Parliament) founded by nature conservation and recreation organization to safeguard four important values: ecology, landscape, cultural heritage and recreation. Water shaped our country, your vote can help conserve it and open up new opportunities for nature and recreation! So please vote on Wednesday March 18. Vote list 1. Vote Water Natuurlijk!
Who can vote?
- you must be 18 years or older on 18 March 2015
- you must be registered with the civil registry (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) as a resident of one of the Dutch provinces. The reference date for this is 2 February – the day the candidates are announced
- your electoral rights must not have been withdrawn
- non-Dutch citizens may vote in the water authorities elections if they are either EU nationals or have a valid Dutch residence permit
Please note that you must present your voting pass (stempas) and a valid proof of identity at the polling station in order to be able to vote. (more info about voting: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/local/about-amsterdam/latest-news/voting-18-march-2015)
Our area: Amstel, Gooi & Vecht
The Regional Public Water Authority Amstel, Gooi en Vecht manages an area of 700 square kilometers extending over the provinces of Noord-Holland, Zuid- Holland and Utrecht. A large majority of this area lies below sea level. If we do not contain the water these regions will flood. This is why dykes, pumping stations, locks and polders are of vital importance, especially in this part of the Netherlands.
- Safe dykes: Safe dykes for the protection of humans and animals have our highest priority. We are responsible for a total of 1093 kilometers of dykes. Each dyke must meet certain requirements as to strength and height. By monitoring these dykes continuously we ensure that we can take timely measures if required. This is necessary to guarantee their safety.
- Sufficient water: The Water Authority ensures there is sufficient water in the right place. Not too much, not too little. This depends, among others, on the land-use type: agricultural areas require different groundwater and surface water levels than cities. Too much water is obviously a problem, but the same applies to too little water: shipping can be disrupted and agricultural land can dry up. The Water Authority weighs the various interests and determines the right water level for each area.
- Clean water: One of our primary responsibilities is ensuring clean water in canals, drainage channels and other waterways; an extremely complex task. Our waste water treatment facilities clean 125 million cubic meters of waste water per year. That is 343 million liters per day, or a quarter of a million liters per minute.
- Other interests: The core responsibilities of the Water Authority are safe dykes and the provision of sufficient clean water. We are also responsible for open and safe waterways, improving nature reserves and recreational areas and maintaining the cultural landscape, so that people can continue to enjoy this beautiful part of the Netherlands.
Water Authority management
Water Authorities are run by a democratically elected management, led by a Chair. The General Board determines the strategy and is responsible for general management. The Executive Committee is responsible for day-to-day operations and implementing the General Board’s decisions.