Social pressure on alluvial plains and deltas is large, both from an economic point of view and from a nature conservation point of view. Gradually, flood risks increase with economic development, because the expected damage increases, and with higher dikes, because the flooding depth increases. Global change, changing social desires, but also changing views, require a revision of flood-risk management strategies for the long term. These should be based on resilience as opposed to the resistence strategy of heightening dikes. Resilience strategies for flood-risk management imply that the river is allowed to temporarily flood large areas, whereas the flood damage is minimized by adapting land use. Such strategies are thus based on risk management and ‘living with floods’ instead of on hazard control. For The Netherlands, one of the most densely populated deltas in the world, alternative resilience strategies have been elaborated and assessed for their hydraulic functioning and ‘sustainability criteria’.
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