Waternet - Biodiversity

Based on a multi-stakeholder discussion, we managed to come a conclusion all involved parties could agree upon. In the end, the only way to reduce the deer population in and around the nature reserve controlled by Waternet was through culling. Therefore, TheRockGroup made a plan to reduce the deer population to a number that the nature reserve could support. Finally, the reduced number allowed for the recovery of the areas plant biodiversity.


Waternet is responsible for the purification of drinking water for the city of Amsterdam and surrounding areas. It is the only water company in the Netherlands that is dedicated to the entire drinking water cycle of a city. In addition, waternet also owns a large nature reserve area near Zandvoort as part of the Natura 2000. This precious region is an important biodiversity area and home to several deer populations. An issue arose on the nature reserve as the population of deer exploded to a population larger than the carrying capacity of the land.

Consequently, the overpopulation led to to decreasing biodiversity since the deers expanded their territory by grazing the suburbs gardens. In addition to this, the risk of deer related traffic accidents increased. Therefore, it was recognized by Waternet and local parties that something must be done about the large deer population. However, what would be the best approach? 

Our approach

TheRockGroup facilitated a complex multi stakeholder discussion. As a result, different stakeholders participated in the discussion: the city of Amsterdam, shareholders of Waternet, NGOs with particular interest in animal protection and the local community. First, we began by looking at the need to regulate the deer population. Thereby, we aimed at minimising the safety hazards their large population posed. At the same time, this allowed for the recovery of biodiversity on the nature reserve. Once it was agreed upon that the deer population needed to be regulated we finally directed the discussion towards the most effective way to do so.

The discussions were complex as each stakeholder had different areas of interest. However, in the end, the conclusion was reached that culling the deer population was the most effective option. Thereby, it assured human safety and enabled the recovery of the nature reserve.

Areas of expertise