On October 3, 2022, Herman Havekes, employee of the Association of Dutch Water Authorities, gave his inaugural lecture as professor by special appointment at Utrecht University. Recently, it has been published in English, with the title: 'Successful Decentralisation: A critical review'. Interesting for everybody who wants to know more about Dutch water management.
During his inaugural lecture, Havekes discussed, among other things, criteria for a good organization of water management, its financing and the role of drinking water companies, water authorities, municipalities, provinces and the national government. He also mentioned that Dutch water management has been subjected to international scrutiny and received a positive assessment.
In the Netherlands, water management is 100 percent a public task. It is highly decentralized and that decentralized management has a solid financial basis. As a result, it can be executed swiftly. Havekes therefore argues that the decentralization of Dutch water management is successful. At the same time, he also indicated that there is, of course, still plenty of room for improvement.