72% of NL residents worried about extreme weather; Only half taking precautions
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Netherlands residents are worried about the consequences of extreme weather, but less than half (48 percent) have prepared for it. Research agency Citisens came to this conclusion in a study for the Union of Water Boards ahead of the water board elections next month.
Of those who took precautions against extreme weather, most added more greenery to their gardens to prepare for heavy rainfall or drought. Some have installed a green roof, and a few have sandbags in their homes or have waterproofed their floors and cellars.
Eight in ten Netherlands residents believe flood risks should determine where future homes are built. Water boards play a role in those decisions, the Union said. Water boards are also responsible for sewage treatment and purifying the Netherlands’ water. Eighty percent of Netherlands residents think they should be more aware of what they flush down the sink and toilet. One in ten would rather invest more in purification.
Most Netherlands residents (91 percent) said water boards do essential work, but 47 percent are unfamiliar with the water board in their area. And almost all said their concerns about extreme weather do not influence whether they’ll vote in the water board elections or not.
The water board elections will happen on March 15, at the same time as the elections for the Provincial Councils, which eventually determine the composition of the Dutch Senate. According to Rogier van der Sande, chairman of the Union of Water Boards, it is important that Netherlands residents familiarize themselves with their water boards and vote in the election.
“Because we are increasingly confronted with extreme drought or flooding, the water boards can limit the damage but not prevent it. We can invest more in advance to prevent nuisance as much as possible, but we can also do repairs when the time comes. These kinds of choices are central to the water board elections on March 15,” he said.