from this: Britta Johnson
The municipalities of Tholen-Zeeland and the Scheldestromen Water Board have requested in an urgent letter to the central government that they need more money to improve the availability of fresh water. Infrastructure and Water Management Minister Mark Harpers wrote in their letter on Friday that the adoption of desalination was inevitable and of great concern to Zealand. ‘Saline is indirectly affecting the quality of life in rural Zealand and making the future of our province uncertain.’
Zeeland administrators are sounding the alarm with their contacts in The Hague about the current policy. ‘Due to climate change, Minister Harpers anticipates that the amount of fresh water will not be sufficient in certain periods to combat salinity.’
According to the letter writers, farmers in Zeeland are looking for alternatives in (groundwater) water management and their business plans in response to declining fresh water availability. ‘This change requires a lot of money, which is not readily available in a small province like Zeeland.’ Therefore, the municipalities and the water board ask how the objectives of a vital and livable countryside with food production as a main pillar relate to the policy in The Hague. Central government funds are essential for measures to improve fresh water availability. The Minister mentions the funding of the National Rural Areas Programme, but the agricultural sector is vital to maintaining the quality of life in rural Zeeland and requires more resources.
Zeeland officials also sent their letter to Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Piet Adema, Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Water Management Vivianne Heijnen and the Lower House Committee on Infrastructure and Water Management.
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