Replacing and Renovating the IJmuiden Pumping Station in The Netherlands


Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands


Waterboards for the City of Amsterdam

Problem Statement

How should the end of a pump's lifetime be handled in the case of the pumping station Ijmuiden? Alternatives for replacement need to be explored and tested.

Case Study

For centuries, engineers around the world have focused on regulating water systems in order to facilitate a number of important societal functions. This resulted in extensive, interlinked water infrastructure networks that provide protection against flooding, sufficient freshwater supply and a thriving navigation network. Due to either technical wear and/or malfunctioning, or by changing functional requirements resulting from climate change and/or societal developments, hydraulic structures reach the end of their lifetime, making replacement or renovation necessary. The fact that hydraulic structures operate in a complex water network, fulfilling many functions and involving many stakeholders, makes the redesign of these infrastructural assets a complex task. This paper introduces an approach to help define long term reinvestment strategies for the replacement or renovation of hydraulic structures within existing water infrastructure networks. The framework presented is based on the principles of ‘Adaptive Delta Management’, developing flexible strategies using the concepts of adaptation tipping points in combination with adaptation pathways. The potential of this approach is illustrated with a case study in the Netherlands, namely the Discharge Sluice and Pumping Station IJmuiden.

Key Concepts

The case study examined alternative actions and measures and put them in different pathways for the replacement of the pumps.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned

Applying the pathway method shows that there are different ways to deal with this task of replacement. The project team designed different pathways not only on the level of the object pumping station but opening up the scale to the surrounding water systems. It turns out that there are more opportunities to deal with changing climate conditions with actions of different stakeholders.


Hydraulic structures, replacement, redesigning, adaptation pathways


The Netherlands


Waterboards discharging water to pumping station IJmuiden and the City of Amsterdam

About the Knowledge Platform

The Knowledge Platform is designed to promote and showcase an emerging set of approaches to water resources management that address climate change and other uncertainties -- increasing the use of "bottom-up approaches" through building capacity towards implementation, informing relevant parties, engaging in discussion, and creating new networks. This is an ongoing project of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) funded by the World Bank Group.

Contact AGWA

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
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Corvallis, Oregon 97330