The Dutch water sector has a strong position in the international water market,
    but it is very poorly represented at ISO and CEN at the global and European levels.
    View the inspiring stories of parties with a vision for the international impact of the
    Dutch water sector.
    read more
    In order to maintain the lead that the Netherlands has, it is of crucial importance
    to share knowledge and make our water-related activities more sustainable.
    View the inspiring stories of parties with a vision for enhancing the sustainability
    of the water cycle.
    read more
    The consequences of climate change mean that we have to find improved
    and innovative ways of dealing with water in our cities. View the stories of
    parties active in the water sector with a vision for urban water management.
    How do they tackle these challenges?
    read more

WATER: We need it in order to live and fight against it!

Water ambassador Henk Ovink: “A culture of cooperation in water management is our most important export”

Investment in knowledge about water and in water management offers Dutch businesses enormous opportunities. And as government agencies, companies and knowledge institutions, we need to seize these opportunities together.

Read the inspiring stories of parties from the water sector with their view on the international impact of the Dutch water sector, improving the sustainability of the water cycle, and urban water management

  • Wouter Remmelts

    Managing Director of BAM International BV

    The playing field for international tenders could be more honest

    Competition is a good thing and as BAM International we are keen to take part in international calls for tenders. However, we notice that a low price is often decisive, while factors such as working conditions, quality, sustainability and anti-corruption policy are not sufficiently taken into account. I am therefore an advocate of internationally enforced award criteria and contract conditions.

    read more
  • Cees Buisman

    Scientific Director Wetsus

    Enhancing sustainability of water technology

    As a leading European research institute in the field of sustainable water technology, Wetsus plays an important role in developing innovations and in knowledge sharing. According to Cees Buisman, the scientific director of Wetsus, the institute adopts a special – and successful – approach that other institutes have been unable to copy. What is its secret?

    read more
  • Hugo Gastkemper

    Director of Stichting RIONED

    When innovation becomes routine, it is time for a standard

    In the Netherlands, standardized inspection of sewers and drains has been completely commonplace for 20 years. But for an innovative development, such as reclaiming energy from sewers, you need room for development. Standardization has considerable power, but it should not come too soon.”

    read more
  • Doulaye Kone

    Deputy Director Sanition & Hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    It's okay to be a bit more progressive

    In many developing countries, people do have access to internet and social media, but not to a clean toilet. One of the causes is the lack of good standards in the water sector. So let's get started!

    read more
  • Henk Ovink

    Water Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    We won’t save any lives with reports

    Water causes huge problems around the world. Too much water, too little water and water that is too dirty – in the urbanised deltas in particular, such problems can have a disastrous impact. The Dutch government wants to play a significant role in solving these problems. Intensive cooperation and transparency are the foundations of the Dutch approach.”

    read more
  • Gerard Stroomberg

    Director of RIWA-Rijn

    A clean Rhine begins with confidence in water laboratories

    To make sure that attention continues to be paid to our concerns about discharges of chemical substances into the Rhine, there must be no doubts regarding the results of investigations into water quality. Luckily, all water laboratories work according to the same ISO standards, and these are never open to discussion.

    read more
  • Joke Cuperus

    Director of PWN

    Taking no risks in preparing drinking water

    When it comes to clean water, many people think in the first instance of natural water and the associated flora and fauna. But for drinking water companies, clean water is an essential raw material for the production process. This important function of groundwater or surface water is sometimes overlooked by outsiders.”

    read more
  • Roelof Kruize

    Director of Waternet

    If it is developed in the Netherlands, it sells itself

    There is a minor revolution going on in the polder landscape around Amsterdam. State-owned company Waternet is going to convert brackish ground water from one of the polders into drinking water. “Turning brackish seepage into a usable resource… A typical example of making the water cycle sustainable,” according to Roelof Kruize, managing director of Waternet.

    read more
  • Doekle Terpstra

    Voorzitter Van Uneto-VNI

    We want to play a pioneering role as water manager

    UNETO-VNI is the employers’ organisation for the installation sector with over 5000 members. Water is one of the three disciplines. There is a Specialist Sanitation Committee (Vakcommissie Sanitair), which carries out innovative developments and operates in a network with other organizations in the water chain. According to Doekle Terpstra, chair of UNETO-VNI, the challenges facing installers of water are only becoming bigger and more interesting. UNETO-VNI would like to be the knowledge manager for the water sector as regards technical installations.

    read more
  • Esther Bosman

    Director BU Water NL Royal HaskoningDHV

    Cooperation and knowledge sharing strengthen the water sector

    Personally, I find water very important. Every day I go to work with great pleasure to achieve safer, cleaner and more sustainable water. That means that I am also prepared to make a contribution towards strengthening the Dutch water sector. I hope that as water ambassador I will be able to play a role in this.

    read more
  • Lennart Silvis

    Director of NWP

    Trust is important when selling technology’

    The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) supports the water sector in exports and international cooperation. More than 200 organizations (both profit and non-profit, from drinking water to dikes) have joined, based on their conviction that they have a greater impact internationally by working together. Director Lennart Silvis is keen to explain the relationship between innovative water technology and standardization.

    read more
  • Hilde Prummel

    Director of Waterlaboratorium Noord

    Innovation only really exists once it is actually applied

    After years of research, consultation and lobbying, the time has come: soon it will be possible for the quality of drinking water in the Netherlands to be tested with the help of DNA, predicts Hilde Prummel, director of Waterlaboratorium Noord (WLN). “The application for this test to be allowed by law was submitted to the minister last year. I expect that this will be achieved this year.”

    read more
Click here for more inspiring stories


It is important that, as leader in the water sector, the Netherlands continues to reinvent itself and innovate. It is essential that we continue to share our knowledge and continue to innovate, within the borders of our country in cooperation with government agencies, knowledge institutions and market parties, but above all beyond those borders, because water knows no bounds. It flows, evaporates, freezes and melts, and falls on the land as rain. You can wash in it, store heat and cold in it, transport goods on it, play with it, and convert it into energy. Water is an element that connects.

The more the Dutch market shares its knowledge of the water sector, the greater the influence it will have on dictating the common language to be used. The Netherlands has a lead as regards knowledge, but in order to maintain this lead and boost exports, the country needs to play a pioneering role in drawing up international agreements.

NEN is keen to talk to other parties about:

  •  water problems of the future;
  •  how we can work together to strengthen the competitive position of the Netherlands;
  •  how we can promote integrated cooperation;
  •  new projects and collaborations.

Enter your details so that we can contact you or send you the information requested. You can also contact us directly on +31 (0)15 2 690 391 or at water@nen.nl

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Water is an extremely broad subject. Water is involved in nearly everything. There is water for drinking, but also constructions that are supposed to protect us against water. There is also the water used in production processes (e.g. cooling water) and the sewerage system that is supposed to process rainwater. NEN is involved in all these matters, as it makes sound agreements on them at the national, but also at the international level. View the infographic to get a clearer picture