Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Water and maritime

Water covers 70 per cent of the planet. It sustains and connects continents, cities and communities. The impact of climate change on our vital resources is huge. Rising sea levels, drought and increased extreme weather events are signs that we need to take urgent action. Only by working together can we ensure clean and safe water for all, and healthy and productive oceans.

Tackling water and maritime challenges will help us accelerate our efforts to halt climate change (SDG 13). But we cannot do this in isolation. Only by working together and harnessing the power of technology can we manage water and maritime resources integrally and sustainably.   

Addressing global challenges together

An inclusive, multidisciplinary approach and open attitude are crucial to tackling climate change and developing resilience to water-related threats. The work of the Netherlands water and maritime sector contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly ensuring clean water supply and improving sanitation for all (SDG6) and restoring and preserving life under the sea (SDG14). Achieving these goals also has an effect on how successfully we tackle:


  • fighting poverty and hunger (SDG2),
  • building sustainable cities (SDG11),
  • using raw materials responsibly and implementing circular methods (SDG12),
  • taking action on climate change (SDG13)
  • restoring nature and biodiversity (SDG15).


The Netherlands’ history, culture, society and democracy are all impacted by its sensitive flood-prone location as a densely populated, low-lying delta. Having dealt with water-related challenges for many centuries, the Netherlands has learnt to apply nature-based solutions to its spatial planning and resilience strategies. The Dutch have advanced methods and technologies in water management, fishing, shipbuilding, dredging, trade and transport.


The knowledge and expertise of the Dutch water and maritime sector has gained global prominence. The Dutch government is committed to contributing to water security and water safety worldwide, as stated in the Netherlands International Water Ambition.

Long-term added value

Dutch products or services may call for larger initial investments, but their high quality and focus on sustainable long-term functioning set them apart. The Dutch water and maritime sector offer tailor-made multipurpose solutions with proven track records in the technical, social, ecological and financial fields.


Dutch experts have a collaborative, hands-on approach to find the safest and most optimal solution together with multiple stakeholders and a strong commitment to delivering on time. This approach makes them a strategic partner in:

  • integrated water management – for river basin management, urban resilience, climate adaptation, coastal management and financing water management infrastructure.
  • water technology – for high-quality water treatment and resource efficiency and recovery for water and sanitation, industry and agriculture.
  • maritime technology – for productive and sustainable use of our oceans and inland waterways; smart and low emission shipping, development of green, vibrant and connected port cities, and clean and productive oceans (blue economy).


Groundwater 2022

This year's World Water Day focusses on Groundwater - making the invisible visible. Groundwater cannot be seen, but its impact is visible everywhere. Approximately 99% of the world’s liquid freshwater is groundwater. Groundwater is an important source for essentials such as drinking water, energy, food and ecosystems. Groundwater supplies 43% of global irrigation, making agriculture the largest consumer of freshwater resources. Furthermore, groundwater supplies 50% of all drinking water in the world and 30% of water used in industries. It also provides crucial support to ecosystems, the flows of rivers and prevents land subsidence and salinisation.

The Groundwater campaign materials in the NL Toolkit can be used all year and in the run up to the UN Water Conference in March 2023, hosted by the Netherlands and Tajiskistan. New social media posts and materials will be added throughout the year.


You can also share the World Water Day video in Landscape format for Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook and presentations and Instagram format from the NL YouTube channel.

The Maritime Future is NOW.

The maritime sector has launched a campaign to stimulate a sustainable blue economy in which productive and healthy oceans play a central role to addressing some of the global challenges we face. If you are an expert in the maritime sector, join us to help shape the maritime future: request the Maritime Future is NOW. campaign sticker. Find out more about the campaign by registering in our toolkit, where we have ready-to-use materials for your Maritime Future is NOW. campaign.

For inspiration watch The Maritime Future is NOW. campaign video.


    NL Waterway Cleanup banner


    Last year, we initiated the NL Waterway Cleanup. This year, we hope to mobilise even more volunteers to clean up waterways across the planet. Simply by joining us and millions of others on World Cleanup Day, we can make a difference, raise awareness and prevent plastic litter on land from becoming plastic soup in the oceans.


    Join us linkJoin us for the NL Waterway Cleanup on and around World Cleanup Day 16/17 September and help us turn waterways back into healthy lifelines between cities and oceans.


    All sub-themes

    Smart cities

    Across the world, cities are growing rapidly; around 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 compared. At present that figure is 55%. The increase in urban population presents several urgent challenges, putting substantial strain on resources with life-threatening implications.