Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Water and maritime

Water covers 70 per cent of the planet, sustaining and connecting continents and communities. However, today we face the impact of climate change on our vital resources, including our water supply and our oceans. Rising sea levels, drought and increased extreme weather events are signs that we need to take urgent action.

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).


We value water campaign

In 2019, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte launched the Valuing Water Initiative (VWI), aimed at showcasing the implementation of the United Nations Valuing Water Principles in order to bring systemic change in the way water is valued in policy, practice, finance and behaviour and to inspire others to do the same.

To kick-start the VWI, the Netherlands is running an international We Value Water campaign from World Water Day (22 March) throughout 2021. What is water worth to you? 


Join 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 marterials for your Maritime Future is NOW. campaign.

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


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Smart cities

The concept of Smart Cities is a continuous journey, not a final destination. As our cities change at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to predict what citizens would need and wish for in the upcoming 30 years. The Netherlands believes that the only way to boost sustainable urban development and build inclusive and future-proof cities, is by working together and learning from each other.