The Blue Deal of Flanders

Flanders launches the "Blue Deal" against drought and water scarcity. Call on Water Experts to unburden your organization from A to Z in water management

The headlines are uniform on this sunny July 29, 2020: Flanders is making 75 million available for the fight against drought. Flanders is launching the 'Blue Deal', a multi-year plan to tackle drought and water scarcity in Flanders.

What does this mean and why is it so important?

This realization is increasingly permeating the society as a whole. Flanders is struggling with serious water scarcity. Belgium is fourth in the ranking of European countries with the greatest water stress. Flanders experiences this water scarcity much more than Wallonia, making the challenge even higher in Flanders. This is due to:

  • High degree of surfacing (±16%), resulting in a lot of rainwater being drained via the rivers to sea
  • High population density, leading to high water consumption compared to the replenishment rate of water reserves
  • Climate change, causing more and longer dry periods, as we experienced in recent summers. Climate change also causes intense rainfall, leading to floods
Tom Vandekerchove

The Blue Deal should arm Flanders in the long term against increasing drought, water scarcity and flooding.​

Tom Vandekerckhove, Consultancy Director


The following action points are specifically considered:

  • Strengthening nature in rural areas by restoring the sponge effect of the landscape. In this way, water is better retained and groundwater reserves are replenished through infiltration. Water loss by drainage through waterways to the sea is reduced
  • Construction of buffer basins along waterways to control flooding
  • Re-meandering of rivers, to restore the natural course of watercourses and to promote infiltration
  • Softening of the Flemish soil so that rainwater is better retained in cities and municipalities for reuse and infiltration. Softening will ensure less rainwater loss through sewers, more infiltration through wadis, more rainwater storage and reuse through rainwater wells (individually or collectively).

What are the consequences for companies, cities and municipalities?

  • Companies that apply for subsidies will need a water scan or audit. This will be mandatory for large consumers from 2022
  • Cities and municipalities will have to draw up a storm water and drought plan from 2024 if they still want to claim water-related subsidies
  • Flanders must be among the world's top in terms of leak-free water pipes by 2025
  • Anyone who wants to take water from unnavigable waterways will have to report this, so that the government can better understand the amount of water that is taken by third parties.


More swamps, meandering waterways, local softening: Flanders is making 75 million available for the fight against drought

The standard

Flanders must become a sponge again

It is a multi-year plan and will optimize water policy in Flanders for the coming decade and possibly longer. As the first tranche, 75 million euros has been rolled out for quick wins and to set up upscaling projects. So this budget serves as an initial spark to fuel positive change, more will follow! Its implementation is overseen by a Drought Taskforce, a panel of experts.

Water Experts can relieve your organization and prepare it for drought and water scarcity by installing a robust water system. This can be done by:

  • An extensive water audit to map water consumption in the organization and identify water-saving measures. Quick wins are the first step towards a water-efficient policy
  • Provide technology to achieve circular water use . Wastewater is a source and not a waste stream. It can be purified and upgraded to reuse in the organizationWater Reuse
  • Carry out storm water studies to make the best use of rainwater that falls on your property. Rainwater is of suitable quality and can be used directly or can be easily upgraded to process water
  • Mapping the water footprint of your organization, so that sustainable choices can be made in the field of water not only in your own operations, but also in the supply chain. In this way, your organization not only has an impact on its own policy, but it can also promote sustainability throughout the entire supply chain.

Water Experts can completely unburden you in water management from A to Z, so that you can focus on the core business and we ensure that drought and water scarcity will have no impact on your business operations. Our experts are at home in the state-of-the-art of the water sector and our independent operation ensures that the best possible solution is always provided.

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