Strategic change processes
Dike reinforcement at Krimpen

Dike reinforcement at Krimpen

The situation

The Water Authorities Act determines that the manager of the ‘primary dikes’ must report to the Provincial Executive once every six years on the general hydraulic condition of the primary dikes. In that framework, the District Water Control Board of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard conducts a periodic safety test in its management zone. The tests revealed that certain sections of the dikes at Krimpen aan de IJssel and Krimpen aan de Lek are not sufficiently stable and also not sufficiently high everywhere to comply with the most recent standards determined by the Water Authorities Act. This means that the District Water Control Board will consolidate and increase the height of the Maasdijk and Lekdijk wherever necessary in the years ahead.

The situation

Dike reinforcement has a major impact on the environment. This means that communication with the environment is an indispensible pillar in this type of process. We took care of the representation, the project communication and the environmental orientation (operational environmental manager). Our philosophy in this type of project is: “We are the guests in these environments and we act accordingly.” We understand that the work imposes a burden on the environment and we put ourselves in the position of all the stakeholders. Our strategy is therefore aimed at providing the right information to everybody at the right time, to listen carefully to the opinions of the stakeholders, and to inform them based on their needs. “Stakeholder analysis”, “civilian participation” and “targeted communication” are the keywords in this project.

The result

Besides providing strategic communication advice, we also deployed a wide range of communication instruments. By doing so, we were able to communicate in a clear and targeted way about all the developments taking place in the project. We also presented the bad news in open and transparent ways. This consistent and proactive approach to communication ensured that we were able to build a relationship of trust with all the stakeholders and other parties concerned. It also means that we were able to manage the expectations of all concerned effectively. In addition, we also proactively invited the press to tell the story of this thick dike reinforcement system and the associated impact on the environment. The story was consequently followed by national and regional journalists.