A sector-wide study among more than 200 water professionals in Australia is showing strong support for the knowledge exchange partnership with the Netherlands on flood and drought management, which was initiated by the Dutch water sector in 2012. No less than 79% of the Australian respondents judge the partnership with the Netherlands to be valuable or very valuable.
The study further reveals that governance, government leadership and community resilience are considered to be the most critical challenges for Australia in dealing with future floods and droughts. The respondents expect that the Dutch water sector can add most value in the areas of governance and flood management (most frequently mentioned are flood resilience, flood modelling, levees and flood mitigation). The other way around, the Australians believe they can support the Netherlands with their expertise on drought management and disaster preparedness and response.
The market study, follows a series of activities and exchanges between Australia and the Netherlands within the framework of the PIB Water Australia – a 3-year covenant between the Dutch government, Netherlands Water Partnership and a consortium consisting of Royal HaskoningDHV, Deltares, UNESCO-IHE, Fugro, Van Oord, Hydrologic and Holland Water Challenge.
Says Paul Hart, Director Water at Royal HaskoningDHV Australia: "Flood risk management organisations and practitioners are benefiting greatly from the genuine collaboration and knowledge exchange between Australia and The Netherlands. The enhanced pool of knowledge and expertise is benefiting many individual projects in Australia ranging from new State-wide guidance on levees to world leading hydrological modelling of the Brisbane River. Ongoing collaboration between the two countries can only help increase community flood resilience in Australia and The Netherlands".
Gregor van Essen, has been one of the initiators of the PIB Water Australia program and has been acting as the de-facto consortium program manager during the 3-year program. Many of the activities undertaken under the PIB umbrella, such as the Flood Community of Practice and the Trade Mission to Australia, were locally supported by Piet Filet.