Future of the fen meadow area (HSHL02)

The open area between Haaglanden and Rijnmond is an important area for recreation, with people coming from the surrounding urbanized areas. The available space is under increasing pressure. It has been designated as a metropolitan park in the Randstad 2040 plans.

Climate change affects this fen meadow area by increasing rainwater shortages as well as excesses of rainwater. A prolonged drought would cause lack of freshwater for the fen meadows. During long events of low river discharge the salt water tongue moves land inward. This causes temporary closures of freshwater inlets, while at the same time, warmer summers lead to a higher demand for freshwater. Other relevant climate changes are increased precipitation in the winter time, increased precipitation intensity during the summer and drier summers. There is a possibility that soil subsidence increases as a cause of warmer and drier summers.

All these changes will have societal impacts on the current land use and water management. The required adaptation to these changes can also be used to pursue new societal and policy goals for the area. Some of these goals are the preservation of the open fen meadow area, increasing recreational possibilities and buffering advancing urbanization.