Water conflicts in the Dutch Water Sector

Tim Nolden of the Water Youth Network, recounts time at the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) hosted by Deltares on 13th December, 2019 which highlighted opportunities linked to water and conflict – while accentuating the benefits to be gained when engaging in cooperative processes around water resources.



WYN presented one of two cases at the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) yearly member’s meet-up hosted by Deltares on 13th December, 2019.  The topic of the session was “Water & Conflict as Business Opportunity”. We presented on opportunities linked to water and conflict on a global to local scale, wherein we highlighted the extensive benefits to be gained when engaging in cooperative processes around water resources. During the session, we focussed on our approach to build capacities of  young and senior professionals aiming to improve relations, trust and reduce transaction costs caused by conflicts. 

After the presentation, the participants from different organisations of the Dutch water sector were involved in a short yet very engaging exercise where they were asked to negotiate a deal on critical resources to save human lives under time pressure. The outcomes of this activity reinforced the idea that capacity building towards active listening and integrative bargaining can lead to win-win situations and hence make all involved parties better off. 

Please find the presentation and the negotiation exercise here.

This kind of engagement evoked conversations  around the specific types of water conflicts that the participants had faced either in their personal life e.g. with their neighbours on water use or in a professional context on a wider scale. Overall, the final group discussion enabled an exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge between young and senior participants. Therefore rounding of a successful and hopefully thought-provoking session. 



There was a parallel session on ‘Engaging experts for humanitarian projects’ hosted by DSS-Water. For more information regarding this session click
hereAfter the presentation and roundtable discussions of both sessions, the participants were taken  for a study tour through the research facilities of Deltares, followed by some networking opportunities towards the end of the event. 

We want to thank NWP for organising the event especially Jens Kok, and Darja Kragić Kok for co-hosting our session, as well as Deltares for hosting the meeting and showcasing their research facilities. 

The WYN Governance group ends a very interesting and successful year in the realm of water cooperation including: Our webinar with the UN Youth Envoy, our workshop on Youth in Water Diplomacy in Cairo, youth led online roundtables and presentations at SWWW19 and UNESCO IHP. We look forward to a productive 2020 in representing and providing opportunities for young water enthusiasts as well as our first bigger event in our gaming workshop for transboundary groundwater cooperation in May 2020.