Living Lab Rijnland Meets Agriculture

On September 28, in the wake of one of the most severe droughts in the Netherlands, I-CISK team hold a first meeting with Rijnland agricultural stakeholders, supported by Rijnland water-authority. This meeting was organized to get to know each other and introduce the I-CISK project to the four farmer representatives from Agriculture (akkerbouw), arboriculture (boomteelt) and agriculture sector-organisations. From this meeting,  project team got a preliminary understanding of how the drought affected them, and how I-CISK could support their needs.

Although farmers are familiar with droughts and the effects of climate change in the Netherlands, the severity, as well as the short time between the 2018 and 2022 drought, has been unprecedented. How farmers experienced the 2018 and 2022 droughts also varied widely. The project team learned that the timing of the drought, as well as transparency of drought measure communication from the water-authority, is essential for farmers. During these tough times, it is also challenging for farmers to consider the long-term perspective and take adaptive actions. At the same time, the sector also needs a long-term plan to adapt to climate change.

Farmers thanked Rijnland water-authority for their hard work and transparency in maintaining sufficient fresh water during the drought. Droughts, which can lead to losses of up to 100% of farmer harvests, were therefore easier to manage. The meeting ended with a glance at the current drought situation in the Netherlands and future measures/approaches from Rijnland water-authority.

With this positive reaction from the agricultural stakeholders, I-CISK team is excited to plan  next meeting with them sometime in November to discuss their future climate service needs.