Water law has its own identity within environmental law. The Water Act can be seen as the basis for a complete regulation of integrated water (system) management. Water management is primarily concerned with the management of hydraulic objects, such as surface water bodies, storage areas, water defences and engineering structures.
As managers of most of these objects, water boards have been given powers to manage them. Water boards can lay down rules about these objects in their own bye-laws, called keur. For example, building in a water barrier or discharging into surface water may require a water permit on the basis of the keur. We have experience with many different types of water projects and the associated decision-making processes, such as the construction and relocation of water defenses through a provincial embedding plan and the adoption and amendment of water level orders or project plans.
The North Sea is one of the most intensively used seas in the world. The ecosystem is both valuable and vulnerable and the sea is a source of food for humans and animals. It is a busy place: busy shipping routes, recreation, fishing, training grounds for the air force and the navy and wind energy, oil, gas and sand are extracted. To get a feel for how busy the North Sea is, a visit to the North Sea Desk online is worthwhile: there you will find this interactive map showing how the sea is used. And the North Sea is expected to get even busier. For example, the North Sea has been assigned an important role in the implementation of the Dutch Climate Agreement, which will lead to a substantial growth of wind farms and electricity infrastructure on the North Sea.
We have experience with all many different kinds of projects on the North Sea nearshore, in the 12 nautical mile zone and offshore in the Dutch Exclusive Economic Zone. We are happy to support you with legal questions regarding the development of projects or the execution of activities on the North Sea.