Promotie: drs. ing. M. Verbeek

Integraal Waterbeheer tussen ongestoorde sturing en ongestuurde storing

Promotor: prof.dr.ir. H.G. Wind

Dit proefschrift is on line beschikbaar, en direct opvraagbaar via de website van de Universiteitsbibliotheek. Het document is in het kader van het webdocproject integraal opgeslagen in pdf formaat.

1 Integrated Water Management & Control

Since its introduction in the Third National Policy Document on Water Management in the Netherlands in 1989, the concept of 'integrated water management' has become very popular. The reason for the introduction of the concept was that the existing policy concepts were no longer powerful enough to solve the problems of modern water management and achieve a sustainable development. A new and integrated approach was necessary to regain and strengthen control. Due to the efforts of practitioners and scientists many advancements have been made in the past few years in the development of integrated water management. This has led to successful policymaking and the implementation of new policy. But also new problems have risen. Though control is strengthened by the development of integrated water management, the policymaking process has become very complex. This not only because of growing complexity of the contents of policy for water management, but also because of stakeholder participation and co-ordination between the authorities involved in the policymaking process. In many cases this complexity leads to interruptions in the policymaking process, which in turn can lead to the weakening, or sometimes even the loss of control in water management.

This study focuses on the causes of interruptions in the policymaking process for integrated water management. The question is whether control is weakened by these interruptions, and if so, what can be done to minimize these interruptions.

2 Theory

Control is defined as changing the autonomous development of a water management system into a more preferred development. A water management system consists of three subsystems, namely the physical ground- and surface water system, the administrative water management and the social water users (Grijns & Wisserhof, 1992). In our case the water management system is the object that has to be controlled.

According to De Leeuw (1988) there are five conditions that have to be met to achieve control. There have to be (1) an objective, (2) sufficient and appropriate measures, (3) a model of the object that has to be controlled, (4) sufficient data concerning the state and the environment of the object that has to be controlled and (5) sufficient data processing capacity.

In this study we have adapted the theory of De Leeuw for the purpose of defining the conditions for control in integrated water management. We have also added one condition, namely there has to be sufficient support from other relevant authorities and stakeholders (water users) for the water management policy, otherwise it would be very hard, or even impossible, to implement the policy. With this addition we have formulated three conditions for control in integrated water management:


The water management policy bas to be consistent (conditions 1 and 2 of De Leeuw).


The water management policy bas to have the support from relevant authorities and stakeholders (added condition).


The policymaking process has to be supposed with sufficient information by means of an information system (conditions 3, 4 and 5 of De 1-,eeuw).

In order to formulate a consistent policy and to obtain support from authorities and stakeholders, specific activities are required. A rational approach to problem solving is necessary to formulate a consistent policy. Following Miser & Quade (1985) a rational approach consists of the following activities: problem analysis; forecasting future contexts; identifying, designing and screening of alternative measures; building and using models for predicting the consequences; comparing and ranking alternatives. We will call these activities I-activities.

In order to gain support from other relevant authorities and from stakeholders, other specific activities are needed. These authorities and stakeholders have to be informed and consulted about the proposals for a new policy. There also will be negotiations about the new policy and in some instances authorities or stakeholders have to be convinced of the necessity and the benefits of the proposed policy. We will call these activities 11-activities. These two g and 11) kinds of activities comprise the policymaking process. Specific information is needed to carry out these activities. The information system has to provide this information.

Not all policymaking processes are the same. There are differences in the degree of support for, or opposition against, a new policy (acceptance). There will also be differences in the knowledge of objectives and appropriate measures to bring about a more preferred development (knowledge). Following these two dimensions, four types of policy can be discerned.

Table S.1 Typology of Policymaking


Acceptance by parties involved in the policymaking process

(possible) objectives and measures accepted

(possible) objectives and measures not accepted

Knowledge of parties involved in the policy making process

(possible ) objectives and measures clear

Take a (formal) decision


Important activities



Less important activities


I-activities Ë

(possible ) objectives and measures clear

Important activities



Less important activities


II-activities Ì

Important activities


I-as well as II-activities


The four types of policymaking are characterized by the required mix of I- and II-activities.

Problems will occur, if policymaking in practice is not in accordance with this typology.

On the basis of this theory we have formulated the following hypothesis:

Control can only be achieved if:


Policymaking is in accordance with the typology of policy making.


I-activities are carried out in accordance with the rational approach.


Sufficient 11-activities are carried out.


The information system can provide the information that is needed to carry out the I- and II- activities.

3 Results from case studies

In our research project we have carried out three case studies to test the hypothesis. All three cases are policymaking projects in the field of integrated water management in The Netherlands. In two of the three cases policymaking was not in accordance with the typology of policymaking, leading to various interruptions in the policymaking process. In these two more complex cases type Í was required. However, in one of these two cases type Ë was implemented and in the other case type Ì

The results of the case studies also showed that the rational approach is indeed required to formulate a consistent policy. In one of the three cases not much attention was paid to I-activities, leading to problems with the formulation of the contents of the policy. In the other two cases type I-activities were carried out sufficiently. In these two cases only a few minor problems were encountered with the formulation of consistent policy.

In two of the three cases problems were encountered with gaining support for the proposed policy, leading to some serious interruptions in the policymaking process. However, in only one of these two cases type 11-activities were carried out insufficiently. This results points out that sometimes there can be an inherent difficulty in gaining support for a proposed policy, even if type 11-activities are carried out sufficiently.

In two cases the information system could not provide the information needed to carry out the various activities. In both cases this has led tot some serious interruptions in the policymaking process.

The overall result of the various interruptions was that only in one of three cases control was achieved. In one of the other two cases control was weakened, leading to much lesser change in the autonomous development of the area and the water management system, than was originally intended. In the third case the policymaking process was stopped. In this case no control could be established.

4 Conclusions and Recommendations

From the results of the cases it is concluded that the hypothesis is supported by the data collected in these three cases. However, in practice there are factors that impede the implementation of the typology of policymaking and the required activities, and also obstruct the provision of sufficient information by the information system.

In cases were there is much opposition against the proposed policy, type 11-activities tend to dominate type I-activities, even though type I-activities may be required just as much as type 11- activities. In these cases it is difficult to meet condition 1, leading to loss of control. Moreover, dominance of type 11-activities can lead to political limitations on the implementation of type I-activities. In some cases you may not be allowed to investigate some policy options. This also can lead to difficulties in meeting condition 1.

When policymaking type Í is appropriate, both type l- and type 11-activities are needed to meet the conditions for control. In practice, however, it is difficult to combine these two kinds of activities, leading to problems with the implementation of either one of the types of activities. This can obstruct meeting the conditions 1 or 11 for control.

These factors that occur in practice stand in the way of achieving uninterrupted control in water management. To minimise the influence of these factors we recommend the following:


Anticipate on the structure the contents en the course of the policymaking process. This Anticipating Project Analysis (APA) should be used as a basis for the design of the project.


The design of the project should be clear to all the parties involved in the policymaking process and all the parties involved have to agree upon the design of the project.


Constant monitoring of the course of the policymaking process by evaluating the process using the conditions for control as criteria.


Avoid policymaking type Í .

Curriculum Vitae

Martin Verbeek werd op 8 juli 1965 in Markelo geboren. In 1984 behaalde hij het diploma van de HAVO. Daarna volgde hij de opleiding Bosbouw en Rentmeesterij aan de Hogere Bosbouw- en Cultuurtechnische School te Velp. In 1988 studeerde hij samen met drie studiegenoten af op het onderwerp 'Recente ontwikkelingen op agrarisch financieel gebied'. Van 1988 tot 1992 studeerde de auteur Bestuurskunde richting Civiele Techniek, welke werd afgerond in de specialisatie Waterhuishouding en Milieu met een afstudeer- opdracht bij prof.dr.ir. H.G. Wind. In opdracht van de provincie Overijssel werd een ex-ante evaluatiemethode ontwikkeld voor beleidsontwikkeling op het gebied van integraal waterbeheer. Na afronding van deze afstudeeropdracht trad hij in dienst van de vakgroep Civiele Techniek van de Universiteit Twente, om in opdracht van de provincies Overijssel en Gelderland en Rijkswaterstaat directie Oost-Nederland, het onderzoek van deze studie uit te voeren. Ten behoeve van het onderzoek verbleef auteur vier dagen per week bij de afdeling Water van de provincie Overijssel, alwaar hij naast het onder- zoek werkte aan een aantal projecten op het gebied van integraal waterbeheer. Naast deze werkzaamheden droeg hij bij aan het opzetten van de, ook in 1992 gestarte, studierichting Civiele Technologie & Management bij de Universiteit Twente.

Sinds februari 1997 is auteur als beleidsmedewerker en projectadviseur werkzaam bij ingenieursbureau Grontmij op onder meer het gebied van infrastructuur, milieu en waterbeheer. Naast zijn werk is hij sinds enige jaren actief in de politiek.

Voor meer informatie: a.m.klijnstra@utwente.nl