Through fostering collaboration among various academic disciplines and with societal partners, researchers from Utrecht University thrive to create impact on sustainable delta development.
The community provides policy makers and delta managers with the essential scientific basis for informed decision-making on pathways towards sustainable deltas through its:
- research activities and output;
- set-up of collaborative living labs;
- knowledge sharing and dissemination;
- policy briefs;
- educational activities.
Highlighted scientific impact
A - Delta-scale scenarios
Dam construction and other human activities are putting the world’s deltas at risk, as they reduce the delivery of sediment to delta areas.
- Frances Dunn, Stephen Darby, Robert Nicholls, Sagy Cohen, Christiane Zarfl, Balázs Fekete (2019). 'Projections of declining fluvial sediment delivery to major deltas worldwide in response to climate change and anthropogenic stress'. Environmental Research Letters 14.
B - Delta functioning
The Vietnamese Mekong delta is on average just 80 centimetres above the local sea level, about 2 metres lower than international researchers previously thought.
- P.S.J. Minderhoud, L. Coumou, G. Erkens, H. Middelkoop, E. Stouthamer, 'Mekong delta much lower than previously assumed in sea-level rise impact assessments', Nature Communications 10, 2019.
C - Pathway development
- Ahjond Garmestani, J. B. Ruhl, Brian C. Chaffin, Robin K. Craig, Helena F. M. W. van Rijswick, David G. Angeler, Carl Folke, Lance Gunderson, Dirac Twidwell, and Craig R. Allen, 'Untapped capacity for resilience in environmental law', PNAS 116 (40), 2019.
Dam construction and other human activities are putting the world’s deltas at risk, as they reduce the delivery of sediment to delta areas. Urgent action is needed to minimise the disruption of sediment delivery and improve delta resilience, argues Frances Dunn.
Using a new three-dimensional groundwater model of the Mekong delta, researchers from Utrecht University and Deltares including Philip Minderhoud have shown by how much and where the land is subsiding due to groundwater extraction.