Following research about climate-adaptive sandy soils on the KLIMAP website

A range of measures and changes in use patterns will be needed to cope with the effects of climate change on agriculture and nature in the high sandy areas of the Netherlands. In the KLIMAP project, research institutes, regional authorities and companies are investigating how we can implement these measures.

One year after its launch, the KLIMAP project provides an insight into developments on the website, where you can find information about, for example, new knowledge and ongoing activities such as field trials.

Climate change

Climate change is leading to changes in the soil and water system in the sandy areas of the Netherlands. There are also consequences for agriculture and nature in these areas. The increasing differences between dry periods/extreme drought and flash floods are making the task we face clear. It has emerged that areas are not adequately structured to cope with the effects of climate change. This is seen, for example, in damage to crops as a result of drought, the increasing drying out of natural areas and localised problems with excess water on agricultural land during cloudbursts.

What is KLIMAP?

In the four-year KLIMAP project (‘Climate Adaptation in Practice’), a consortium of 24 organisations is looking at which measures can contribute and what joint process will be needed to adapt Dutch sandy areas to climate change. KLIMAP will be working through to the end of 2023 on process descriptions and instruments that will help the government authorities and actors in the region to implement the ‘development pathways’ approach. This is a method that makes it possible to take joint steps towards a climate-adaptive environment in constantly changing conditions. We are also developing a menu in KLIMAP that provides a clear overview of the effects and feasibility of various types of measures.


A roadmap provides a structure for the process as a whole and connects the different KLIMAP products. The roadmap distinguishes between seven steps that partners in the region must take together. “We see the KLIMAP project as a process of learning, participation and implementation,” says Myrjam de Graaf, the KLIMAP project coordinator. “Because we are all facing a new challenge. There is no single manual that tells us how the soil and water system can be designed to withstand all the effects of climate change. What is clear is that we have to tackle it together: government authorities, land users, researchers and business. We will therefore be working in this project on the elaboration of the best approach. We are already seeing that we can learn a lot from each other, for example by sharing and grouping results from trial locations.”

Living Labs

During the course of the programme, the partners will test and refine the products in various project areas, including the Northern IJssel Valley (in the province of Gelderland) and around the Mariapeel and Groote Molenbeek (in the province of Limburg). Gaps in the knowledge about the effectiveness of promising measures will be addressed in field experiments known as Living Labs. “We are actively working on some twenty locations across the southern and eastern sandy areas during this growth season. For example, in Midden-Brabant, we are monitoring the effect that worms and deep-rooting herbs in grasslands have on infiltration and the capacity of the soil to retain water. The effects of innovative technologies such as adaptive weirs, climate-adaptive drainage systems with sub-irrigation and controlled drip irrigation are also being quantified,” explains Annelies Balkema, policy and innovation advisor at the De Dommel water authority and the leader of the KLIMAP field trials. website

The website provides access to the knowledge gained by KLIMAP, ongoing activities and the results and products delivered so far, such as the road map, an initial elaboration of the development pathways approach and a description of the various field trials.


The collaborative KLIMAP project is co-financed by the Agri & Food and Water & Maritime top sectors. The following partners are involved in funding and implementation: The Aa and Maas, Vallei and Veluwe, De Dommel, Brabantse Delta, Limburg, Vechtstromen and Rijn and IJssel water authorities; the provincial authorities of North Brabant, Gelderland and Limburg; STOWA, KWR, LLTB, Deltares, Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen University, Radboud University, Louis Bolk Institute, Van den Borne Projecten, KnowH2O, Kuipers Electronic Engineering and Barth Drainage. The programme website can be found at:

KLIMAP poster.