brook + valleys

Vision for the brook valley of Brabant

In the past Brabant was a swampy region abounding in water. In the previous century, a handmade dewatering system of ditches and streams was introduced to drain the land quickly for agricultural purposes. Nowadays water related problems arise in cities, agricultural field and nature conservation areas.


Due to climate change Brabant will experience more occasions of extreme rainfall, this will cause water problems downstream. Furthermore, farmers on the higher grounds will face drought. This was noticed during the hot and dry summer of 2018. In the past, the high sandy soils (including forest and heath) used to retain a lot of water, the so called the ‘sponge effect’. The water infiltrated more easily because it was slowed down by for example hedgerows and small ditches. More water was kept in the soil as a result of a high amount of organic matter in it.

From water and nature challenge to climate challenge

The ambition is to retain as much water as possible around the streams (in agricultural fields, cities and nature conservation areas). This will decrease water problems downstream and increases the water availability upstream. That is why a broad look is given at how the Brabant sand and stream landscape can be organized to be more climate proof.

In three workshops together with the water boards of Brabantse Delta, Dommel, and Aa and Maas, we investigated what a climate proof stream valley landscape could look like in the future. This was at the same time an exercise based on the ideas of the Omgevingvisie Noord Brabant, to test the new ideas. The result is a ‘travel guide’ that invites everyone to go on a journey towards climate proof stream valley landscapes.



This travel guide is an invitation from the Province and the involved water boards to farmers, entrepreneurs, residents and municipalities to work together towards climate proof brook landscapes. In the Omgevingsvisie (Vision for the environment) Noord-Brabant the climate-resilience of Brabant is anchored as one of the leading challenges in society. It offers an approach to the actions of the province and its partners with a deep, round and broad perspective.

3 cases respectively Aa or Weerrijs, Tongelreep, Aa-dal


The ideas of the travel guide are currently being elaborated a step further in a study of the Brabant stream valleys, commissioned by the five major cities (B5), the Brabant water boards and the Province.