In the Netherlands we live carefree and safe in a delta behind our flood defences, dunes and storm surge barriers.

Almost two thirds of the Netherlands lies under sea level; the sea threatens from the west and sometimes large amounts of water are brought by the rivers from the east and south. Without good protection they would regularly burst their banks.

We also need sufficient amounts of clean water every day, at the right time and in the right place, for nature, shipping, agriculture, as drinking water, for energy supply, recreation and fishing. Behind the screnes, many water managers constantly work on the supply, removal and quality of water.

In the Netherlands, our water management is in the hands of the Department of Public Works and 21 water boards. Together they are responsible for proper water management, water quality and water safety within their own management area. In this way flooding is prevented but there is also enough water in times of drought.

However, our water managers are facing new challenges as a result of climate change and changing water consumption. That is why the water managers’ knowledge development, innovative strength and ability to cooperate are more important than ever.  SOCOTEC’s engineers can make a significant contribution to this in the next few decades.

Talk to our experts

Ir. Bart van Knapen

Project Manager Water Safety

Project Manager Water Safety +31 6 27884245

SOCOTEC is your expert partner for:

Advice on flood defence reinforcement, design and investigation :

  • Stability calculations of flood defences
  • Testing and design (for the construction phase) of flood defences
  • Assessment of water safety for Water Act permits
  • Assessment of flood defence improvement variants
  • Site engineering
  • Analysis of the results of soil investigations and lab tests and monitoring.
  • Monitoring heads and the phreatic level in flood defences
  • Analysis of subsidence in flood defences
  • Monitoring deformations in flood defences (fibreoptic/ drone)
  • A thinktank to develop (in-situ) tests for flood defences

Advice on water management

  • Designing water storage
  • Stability of new flood defences
  • Designing fish ladders
  • Designing environmentally-friendly banks

Advice on water quality and salinisation

  • Investigating the ratio of fresh to salt water
  • Analysing water samples
  • Analysing the origin of seepage water



Water safety

In our fight against water, the contiguous links of water systems, water barriers and structures are crucial to guaranteeing a water-safe living environment in a large part of the Netherlands. SOCOTEC contributes to this every day with research and advice.

For decades already, SOCOTEC has been carrying out geotechnical surveys to chart the soil structure and strength of water barriers throughout the Netherlands. Thanks to this we have good contacts with all the water boards in the Netherlands. SOCOTEC has entered into framework agreements with many water boards to carry out soil investigations and lab tests.

More than just soil investigations!

Gathering specific knowledge about water barriers is the first step in properly assessing them. In the coming years, SOCOTEC’s engineers will use their know-how and experience to develop new surveying techniques so that we can set ourselves apart by also giving advice. For this it is essential to cooperate with partners (water boards, engineering firms and contractors). Being able to give advice as an extension of the surveys makes SOCOTEC highly versatile for specific issues, also in the area of water safety.

Want assistance in the area of water safety? Contact us

Contact us

Talk to our experts

Ir. Bart van Knapen

Project Manager Water Safety

Project Manager Water Safety +31 6 27884245