Managing the groundwater table in nature areas

by Peter Hoefsloot
February 27, 2015


The Netherlands is a small country. Most of its area lies below or just above see level. Water tables are generally very high. This high water table supports valuable plant communities scattered around the country in small areas. A high water table is not in everyone’s interest. Farmers generally favour low water tables. This enables a high production and a good pass ability. Taking these opposite interests into account, managing the water table is a game of centimeters.

Changing the water table

Changing the water regime has to be done carefully. The bodies responsible will only undertake such an action when they can predict the effects on human habitation, agriculture and nature areas. For this purpose the government institute Deltares in cooperation with RIVM and Wageningen Agricultural University, have decided to develop a simulation model called DEMNAT. This model predicts the effects of these changes on floral distribution and ecosystems. DEMNAT takes a large amount of parameters as input and produces output in the form of maps. HSS has rationalized this model and created a shell environment around it that ensures easy operation of the different components

For more information contact Deltares

Drs. R. van Ek,  Deputy head groundwater department
Visiting address
Princetonlaan 6 Utrecht
Telephone tel.: +31 30 256 46 65