NCR is the leading cooperative alliance between all major Dutch institutes for river studies. We integrate knowledge, facilitate discussion and promote excellent science.


13 February 2020 - 01:00


Managing changing rivers

The next edition of the annual meeting of the Netherlands Centre for River Studies (the NCR Days) will be organized by Rijkswaterstaat and will take place on February 13 and 14, 2020.

The program will based upon the main river functions that Rijkswaterstaat works on – water safety, clean and healthy water, fast and safe water-borne transport, and water availability. Rijkswaterstaat contributes to The Integral River Management (IRM) program, one of the main programs of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement. The key task of IRM is to support those functions in a sustainable  and efficient way, and do so under the changing physical an social conditions. The central theme of the NCR days is therefore titled “Managing Changing Rivers”.

Important dates

Registration open: December 3, 2019
Abstract submission deadline: January 10 January 17, 2020
Notification of acceptance & final programme: January 28, 2020
Registration deadline: January 31 , 2020 February 7, 2020
Conference: February 13-14, 2020

Conference program

Final program

The program booklet can be downloaded here

Keynote speakers

Katja Portegies (Director Safety and Water, Rijkswaterstaat WVL)
Opening speech: Connecting through knowledge to meet future challenges

Katja Portegies studied chemistry at the Leiden University and started her career at Rijkswaterstaat West Nederland Zuid focusing on water quality. After several positions at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water management, she worked on policy decisions at the Staff Delta Commissioner, and later at Arcadis. In March 2019 she was appointed as Director Safety and Water, WVL. As director she is responsible for knowledge development together with universities, institutes and commercial companies concerning the whole water management spectrum.

Katja will speak about the relationship between knowledge suppliers and Rijkswaterstaat, and the importance of knowledge development for river management. She will focus on the cooperation between universities, institutes, commercial companies and Rijkswaterstaat, to meet future challenges related to climate change, river usage and nature development.


Frans Klijn (Professor of Adaptive Delta Management, Delft University of Technology & Deltares)
Keynote lecture: The Future of our Large Rivers: do we acknowledge the carrying capacity of the geo-ecosystem?

Frans Klijn is specialist in Adaptive Delta Panning, and working at Deltares since 1996. Since 2015 he holds a professorship at the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. In the 1990s Frans played in important role in the societal debate on the management of the large Dutch rivers, regarding nature rehabilitation and flood protection measures, which culminated in the Room-for-Rivers program. In his current research, Frans primarily focuses on comprehensive flood risk management and role of sustainability in long-term planning.

His presentation focuses on the river as a natural system, as well as on functional demands from our society. And where they are at odds, because the demands exceed the carrying capacity of the system. Both floods and drought will be addressed, and the challenges and opportunities their development implies for adapting the system.


Chris Spray MBE, FRSA (Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor Geography & Environmental Science, Dundee University, UK)
Keynote lecture: Managing rivers for multiple benefits – challenges and opportunities for ecological improvements and river restoration at the catchment scale 

Chris is currently a Senior Research Fellow, and holds an Emeritus professorship in Water Science & Policy at Dundee University’s Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science under the auspices of UNESCO. He has some 30 years of practical experience of integrated water resource management from a number of distinct perspectives – including river basin management and planning, environmental policy and regulation, Ecosystem Approach delivery, water science, river and catchment restoration.

Chris will speak about challenges and opportunities in river restoration and catchment management, particularly from an ecological perspective. Using examples of policy and practice from Scotland, he will explore the need to develop a robust science evidence base to underpin emerging ideas on building with nature and natural flood management at a catchment scale.


Milou Wolters (Strategic Advisor for Navigation and Waterways, Rijkswaterstaat WVL)
Keynote lecture: Navigating changing rivers, what is the challenge?

Milou is a strategic advisor for Navigation and Waterways in the Netherlands. She studied Hydraulic Engineering at the TU Delft with a specialization in Ports and Waterways. She has been working in several different functions at Rijkswaterstaat, most of them related to navigation and waterways. Currently she focuses mainly on strategic questions. Besides working for Rijkswaterstaat Milou was part-time teacher Ports and Waterways at the TU Delft 2009-2013, and is now the vice-president of the Dutch department of Pianc.

Milou will speak about the actual challenges in navigation and waterways based on her broad experience.


Abstract can be submitted to the following sessions:

[1] Governance and threats for proper management
[2] Sediment management and river morphology
[3] Water safety and flood risk
[4A] Fast and safe water borne shipping
[4B] Clean water and ecology
[5A] Hydraulics
[5B] Availability of water


This year at the NCR days you can attend an excursion on the River Waal. At Friday morning we will visit – by boat! – a couple of projects of Rijkswaterstaat and will get an explanations from the involved project managers. We will enjoy our breakfast onboard. What a great start of the day! The boat will leave and arrive at the Waalkade. This is a 20 minutes walk to the conference location (1.5 km).


The NCR DAYS 2020 will take place in Nijmegen at the Honig Complex.


Waalbanddijk 8-22
6541 AJ

Route information

The venue is reachable by car and public transport. Parking facilities are available. A route description (dutch only) can be downloaded here


Accomodation is not included and cannot be reserved through the conference.

Abstract submission

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract to the NCR DAYS 2020. Please observe the following author instructions:

  • The deadline for submission is January 10, 2020
  • Abstracts must be submitted in PDF format
  • Abstracts must follow the prescribed template. Word and LaTeX templates are available for download.
  • Abstracts have a maximum of 2 pages
  • Abstracts must be submitted online following this link
  • During submission, you can let us know your preferred session and presentation format (poster/oral). Note that we cannot guarantee placement according to your preferences.


Registration and conference fees are available through the link below. Note that Master or Bachelor students can apply for a strongly reduced fee.



Questions can be directed to:

NCR DAYS 2020 organisation:

NCR secretary:


The NCR DAYS 2020 are made possible by our sponsors:



Netherlands Organisation for scientific research