Case Study #76

Enschede municipality

The Almelo Nordhon Canal in the Municipality of Enschede (copyright: Pixabay License for free commercial and uncommercial use, Author: erick297,

Governance Level


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity

#76: Enschede municipality


The aim is to create more blue and green infrastructures in the city. In recent years, groundwater levels have been raising in Enschede due to urbanisation and deindustrialisation. In addition, increased rainfall as a result of climate change has aggravated the problem. This has led to the occurrence of incidental floodings within the city. However, around the city there have been also more frequent droughts, which contrasts with the situation of excess water within the city. This problem is to a large extent rooted in spatial planning in historical perspective. Main actors that have been involved in solving the resulting problem are the municipality, the water authority, the provincial authorities and, to a minor degree, drinking water companies, citizens, and private enterprises.  Historically, a strong cooperation exists between the water authority and the municipality. On the level of municipalities, cooperation exists as a consequence of the challenges posed by climate change. This led to the creation of a steering group “climate-active cities”  that brings together water authority, board members of the province, and board members of the major towns. This climate-active cities approach already did a lot in the region and especially in Enschede, by making board members of different governmental originations as well as employees aware of the need to take action, by starting small projects, learning sessions etc. The activities on climate-active cities were also used for lobbying on the national level. In 2017, the national “Delta Program on Spatial Adaptation” was introduced, which strongly advices that regions coordinate on adaptation. The climate-active cities approach was actually one of the triggers to start the national Delta Program.

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