Water and landscape

Water is increasingly becoming the guiding principle for landscape design. Wageningen Environmental Research investigates and offers prospective solutions based on an integrated vision: the natural power of the water and the system it functions within. This requires intensive collaboration and interaction between people and disciplines. After all, it is about inspiring people, continuously discovering new connections, and identifying challenges and opportunities.

  • Water and landscape

Water is a driving force in the configuration of our living environment. Water is the main sculptor of landscapes. In the Sustainable Water Management programme, we use our knowledge about the role and characteristics of water in our landscapes to create Nature-Based Solutions that help to make our water systems and living environment more resilient and future-proof. And to preserve all its functions. Key is that sustainable land use should follow the water system, because striving to the most natural water system possible (including soils) is the path for resilience.

All over the world, landscapes are actually waterscapes
Marjolein Sterk

How can nature help?

Wageningen Environmental Research always starts with nature-based solutions: how can nature help with a social problem in a way that positively affects it in return? How can water benefit society? Water has a will of its own, which can be used to shape the landscape. An example of this is “Ruimte voor de rivieren” (room for the rivers), where improving flood safety and the quality of the landscape go hand in hand. 

Wageningen Environmental Research offers solutions and research into:

  • Integrated and nature-based solutions (nature-based solutions)
  • Innovations in land use, water landscapes, and ecosystems
  • Optimisation of ecosystem services (services provided by nature to society, such as cooling, clean drinking water, recreation, etc.)


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