The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) and the ‘De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk’ partnership are working together on the Afsluitdijk. The Afsluitdijk is an icon with a rich history. The dam stands for the Dutch fight against the water and serves as a perfect example of renowned Dutch hydraulic engineering. The straight dam also provides a unique image in the watery landscape.

The Afsluitdijk is highly important. The dam:

  • protects us from excess water and flooding
  • connects the provinces of North Holland and Fryslân
  • attracts about 250,000 tourists per year

Safety and environmental quality

In 2006 Rijkswaterstaat established that the Afsluitdijk no longer meets the safety requirements. That is why the government will be reinforcing the dam and the locks in the dam. Furthermore, the drainage capacity of the Afsluitdijk will be increased by installing pumps in a few discharge channels of the sluice complex at Den Oever. The government and the region will also consider environmental quality here. This means that the reinforcements and the regional ambitions should suit the environment.

Regional ambitions

The municipalities and provinces around the Afsluitdijk have ambitions. Examples are in the field of Energy & Water, Economy & Water and Nature & Water. The ambitions are laid down in the Afsluitdijk Ambitions Agenda. To achieve these ambitions, the region is collaborating with the government under the name De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk. And if no collaboration is required, the region will achieve its ambitions by carrying out projects itself. These projects are being performed at Den Oever, the Monument, Breezanddijk, Kornwerderzand and Zurich. The government has made 20 million euros available for the achievement of regional ambitions.


The government, provinces and municipalities have made arrangements about the collaboration. These are described in an administrative agreement. Furthermore, there are intensive discussions about many areas in order to draw up proper joint plans.

View all of our partners in the partner overview.