The changing cooperation between clients and contractors in the hydraulic engineering sector

In 2016 the Dutch Water Authorities, ‘Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma’ and sector organisations of contractors and engineers jointly presented their vision on the cooperation of the future: ‘The Water Board Market of the Future’. One of the relevant aspects of the implementation of the market vision is the way in which the professionalisation of the sector - both on the client’s side and on the contractor’s side - is shaped. After all, a different way of working together in realising construction projects goes hand in hand with different demands on the tasks, roles, knowledge and behaviour of those involved.

Dredging (photo: Unie van Waterschappen)

This research focuses on the implementation of new (aspects of) cooperation forms and their consequences for attitude and behaviour on the part of clients and contractors, control mechanisms and the way in which these new forms of cooperation are embedded in the client organisation.

The research will focus on the following aspects:

  • Contributing to the increase of knowledge and insights and the implementation of the market vision as an instrument in the professionalisation of clients (and contractors) in the field of hydraulic engineering.
  • Contributing to increase the capacity for learning and innovation in the light of the experience gained by water boards.
  • Evaluating the market vision on the basis of developments in the sector and monitoring the progress on formulated targets and the adjustment of those goals.


Funder:Principals Council of the Dutch Water Authorities
Overall budget:€ 265.080
Grant amount:€ 265.080
Contribution to TU Delft: € 265.080
Role TU Delft: Lead partner
Project duration:September 2018 - October 2022
TU Delft researchers:       Marleen Hermans Ad Straub
MSc. Bart Suijkerbuijck

Project partners

Unie van Waterschappen, Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma, Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, Waterschap Noorderzijlvest, Waterschap Rivierenland, Waterschap Delfland, Waterschap Scheldestromen, Waterschap Hollandse Delta

Contact M.H. Hermans