About us

Water authority Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden

Who are we?

Water authority Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden is one of the 21 water authorities in the Netherlands.

Much of our country (34,000 square kilometres) consists of artificial land created by man. The many dikes, locks, pumping stations, flood barriers, canals and ditches keep it habitable. Without water barriers, more than half of the Netherlands would be under water. Local and regional water management in the Netherlands is in the hands of water authorities. These are decentralised public authorities with defined legal responsibilities and a self-supporting financial system.

The 'mayor' of the water authority is called 'dijkgraaf' (chairman). The dijkgraaf is appointed by the national government. He chairs the general board, which at the Stichtse Rijnlanden has 30 elected members. He is also part of an executive board, which has 5 members. The other 4 members of this board are appointed by the general board. The secretary-director is the head of the professional organization, which at the Stichtse Rijnlanden consists of 400 employees.

Our mission

  • safe dikes
  • clean surface water
  • correct water levels

We are responsible for flood control, water quantity, water quality and treatment of urban wastewater. Operational tasks include the management of pumping stations, wastewater treatment plants, maintenance of waterways and flood defence structures.

The area

We serve most of the province of Utrecht and a small part of the province of Zuid-Holland. The area comprises 82.000 hectares in total. We have:

  • 17 wastewater treatment plants
  • 9700 km. of man-made waterways
  • 1400 km. of principal watercourses
  • 700 dams, locks and culverts
  • 440 km. of local dikes 150 polder pumping-stations
  • 60 km. of river dikes

Video: working on water

A four and a half minute impression of the work of water authority Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden.