Extreme weather could cause €174 billion in damages by 2050
Weather extremes like heat, drought, and flooding could cause 174 billion euros in damage up to 2050. The damage will mainly affect private individuals, the Union of Water Boards expects based on climate scenarios from the KNMI. The water boards want to accelerate the measures to deal with the consequences of climate change.
"It must be a top priority for the new Cabinet," said Rogier van der Sande, president of the union. The water boards have been calling for a lot more money for a climate-proof design in the Netherlands for some time now. They published a calculation of the possible damage on Monday. According to the water boards, drought can cause up to 124 billion euros in damage, flooding 41.5 billion euros, and heat 8.1 billion euros in damage. The calculated damage amounts are from now until 2050.
As water managers, the regional water authorities are the first to notice the costs increase, said Van der Sande. Limburg, Friesland, and Noord-Holland, for example, already had to deal with flooding this summer. "Extreme weather is already causing problems today." The boards, which also invest billions themselves, are working on stronger dykes, the construction of water basins to absorb high water, and rainwater buffers to retain freshwater for longer.
The Union of Water Boards believes that the central government, provinces, and municipalities should contribute. "Everyone has to work hard. The time when we could control water, land, and soil to our will is over," said Van der Sande.
Reporting by ANP