Vision and pilots for a saline economy on the Wadden Sea coast

Due to climate change, there is a risk of increasing silt deposits on agricultural land in tandem with a decrease in available freshwater in the summer period. By applying the ‘salt adaptation’ strategy, the agricultural sector will more carefully manage the freshwater supplies built up by collecting rainwater in the six-month ‘winter period’ (i.e late autumn, winter and early spring) to minimise water shortages and combat silt deposits in the summer period. This will allow ordinary agriculture to continue for much longer. At the same time, opportunities are arising for brackish transitional nature areas between land and sea as waterways can now be more brackish without causing detriment to agriculture. In addition, the commissioning parties are devoting attention to the development of agricultural products that are more resistant to saltier water. For example, it appears that there is a substantial global market for more salt-tolerant varieties of seed potato. Therefore, sustainable economic developments and innovation focusing on salt-adaptation must be promoted and new silt crops will be introduced with global market potential, breathing new life into the countryside behind the dikes.

Role of the PRW:

Results to be delivered:

  • A widely supported Wadden Coast vision of economic innovation and climate adaptation for agriculture will have been developed by 2021 (including salt-adaptive experiments, marine aquaculture, salt marshes, making the most of opportunities regarding Wadden birds (breeding or otherwise) and migratory fish).
  • One or two pilots will be in development in 2022.

Commissioning parties:

  • Provinces in the Wadden Sea region: North Holland, Friesland and Groningen

Follow-up action by:

  • Provinces in the Wadden Sea region: North Holland, Friesland and Groningen