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Annemieke Nijhof

Resilience in all respects

It was a confusing summer for many people throughout the world. The seasons no longer do what I was taught at school. In the Netherlands, the shops are already full of autumn clothes, even as the thermometer is rising to 30 degrees outside.

We were warned: climate change leads to disruption, with extremes we didn’t see in the past. We have to adapt: not only in how we design and use our living environment, but also in how we handle and accept uncertainties. We are very happy indeed that our colleague Bart van den Hurk has been appointed co-chair of the IPCC Working Group 2. Over the next five to seven years, he will be committed to producing action and change perspectives.

This issue of Deltalife presents a richly varied picture of the work done by Deltares around the globe. We want to use our deep knowledge of water and the subsurface to contribute to resilience in all respects: in our infrastructure, in our soil and water systems, and in the people who live in areas that are already very vulnerable.

There is an increasing focus on the connections between ecosystems, soil and water systems, and climate change. The articles about restoring sandy beaches in Suriname and coping with animals whose burrowing is undermining our infrastructure illustrate this. You will also read about the medium and small enterprise challenge, PFAS, measurement & monitoring, and digital solutions to save CO₂. But above all, you should start with the interview with the Director-General of Water and Soil of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, who gives the simple phrase ‘Water and Soil as Leading Factors’ meaning and depth.

Have a good read.

Annemieke Nijhof

Managing Director Deltares

Decisions we make now must be robust for the future