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. 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 deer population exploded to being larger than the land’s carrying capacity.

The deer soon expanded their territory and consequently, the overpopulation led to a decrease in biodiversity. In addition to this, the risk of deer related traffic accidents increased. Waternet and local parties therefore recognized that something had to be done to contain the large deer population.

Our Work

TheRockGroup facilitated a complex multi stakeholder discussion, involving the city of Amsterdam, shareholders of Waternet, NGOs with particular interest in animal protection and the local community. We first began by looking at the need to regulate the deer population and 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 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 we reached the conclusion that culling the deer population was the most effective option. Thereby, it assured human safety and enabled the recovery of the nature reserve.