We are increasingly experiencing periods of drought. During droughts, there is less water than we need. For example, when there is little rainfall and also little water entering our country via the Rhine and Meuse rivers. This may cause problems, such as low groundwater levels and poorer bathing water quality. Water levels in rivers can also be low which affects shipping. The drought season starts on 1 April every year and runs until September. During periods of drought, not every part of the Netherlands is equally dry.

Think ahead

  • Conscious use of water is always a good idea. Don't let water flow unnecessarily and don't shower for more than five minutes.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater. Rainwater is a good alternative to tap water for washing the car or watering the garden, for example.
  • There is plenty of drinking water available during droughts. The water jet may be smaller.
  • Read here (information in Dutch only) on conscious use of drinking water during drought.

Government actions

  • Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) and the water authorities monitor water levels throughout the year and take measures if necessary. For example, they can temporarily raise the water level, distribute the available water through locks, pumping stations and pumps, and measures can be taken to allow shipping to continue for as long as possible.
  • Drinking water companies make sure there is enough drinking water during droughts.
  • There may be spray irrigation restrictions in your region. Always follow these. 
  • The government is releasing extra money to deal with drought in the coming years.