WUR joins forces against salinization in deltas in new knowledge cluster

Published on
February 8, 2023

Three knowledge institutes and three universities of applied sciences are joining forces in the Institute for Agriculture in Salinizing Deltas to make our agricultural system salinization-proof and to use the available freshwater sparingly and smartly.

Due to climate change, sea level rise and subsidence, the salinization of the inland dike lands along the Dutch coast, but also in other deltas, is gradually increasing. This is due to an increase in the concentration of salt in the water system.

Less fertile soil due to salinization

Clay is very sensitive to salinization. Once degraded soil has a poor structure, is less fertile and that will lead to lower yields and ultimately a lower income of the farmer. The increasing salinization of ground and surface water reduces the availability of water for agriculture and many other functions and requires timely, robust, and sustainable solutions.

Thanks to its combination of applied water, soil and crop knowledge, the initiative is unique in the Netherlands and internationally relevant. The emphasis of the Institute is on limiting the impact of salinization as much as possible on the basis of thorough system understanding and practical knowledge (water, soil and crops). In addition, possibilities for adapting crops to more salty conditions are considered. The application is accelerated by working together in a Living Lab to develop and evaluate effective measures in the cultivation systems and in local and regional water management.

Knowledge cluster in salinizing

By bringing together the knowledge from various coastal regions in the Netherlands, through the use of leading and internationally working knowledge partners, the Institute has crucial building blocks for the issue of increasing salinization and availability of freshwater. The partners will work with governments and the business community on a National Knowledge Agenda on Salinisation. The knowledge cluster promotes coherence and collaboration in research and projects. As the initiator, the province of Fryslân has made the start possible.

The Institute invites interested parties to become partners and actively participate in future projects, knowledge sharing and the development of the knowledge agenda.