Hydro-Social Deltas


The Hydro-Social Deltas research project seeks to understand the dynamic interplay between hydrological processes (flooding, riverbank erosion, waterlogging) and social processes (migration, urbanization processes, governance) in the urbanizing delta of Bangladesh and the urbanized delta of the Netherlands.

Click here for a short introduction. Obvious differences aside, both countries are involved in long-term climate change-induced system planning in dynamic deltas. The advanced understanding of hydro-social interactions will support policies and strategies for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

Notably, we aim to help:

  • shift existing simplifying policy discourse on climate induced displacement or migration ('climate refugees') and negative perceptions of urban migration as related to poverty and crime;
  • improve the implementation and coordination between existing policies;
  • reduce vulnerability for migrants and support sustainable pro-poor development approaches in Bangladesh;
  • increase flood resilience in the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

The Dutch Southwest Delta from above (movie)

Brahmaputra, river of life: the river people (movie)

Urbanizing Deltas of the World

The project is part of the research programme Urbanising Deltas of the World funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These are the other projects funded in the Urbanising Deltas of the World programme:

Urbanisation of Dhaka 1990 to 2060 (projected). Source: Verbeek and Zevenbergen, 2013