Pathways of delta development

The recently published IPCC report underlines the increasing pressures and challenges that deltas are facing for future development. It is clear that the urgency for deltas worldwide to adapt is greater than ever.

Logo of the Pathways storyline: a dotted curvy pathway between two locations

Challenges and opportunities

In an increasingly uncertain future, deltas are facing complex bio-physical and socio-economic challenges (Storyline: The future of our deltas). These include land subsidence, flooding, salinization, land-use change and urbanisation, increasing water demand and freshwater scarcity, degrading biodiversity and ecosystem services. At the same time, economic development and transformation of livelihood need to be ensured and stimulated. With the developed knowledge on external drivers of delta systems and their functioning, researchers at the Water, Climate and Future Deltas hub, together with practitioners and other stakeholders, explore pathways of future delta development.

Exploring pathways 

In developing future pathways for deltas, we investigate adaptation strategies, possible challenges and opportunities, and what this means for decision-making in the short, medium and long term. Below we have highlighted some of our (ongoing) projects in various deltas in the Netherlands and internationally. In these projects, we explore adaptation pathways to make deltas resilient to current and future social and bio-physical threats in the long term and promote inclusive development and partnership building.