WUR student makes it to Water Authority board

Jiska Taal (20) is the youngest Water Authority board member ever in Vallei en Veluwe.
Jiska Taal next to a weir in the Binnenveld. Photo Guy Ackermans

It looked almost impossible for Taal last week. The International Land and Water Management student was fourth on the list of candidates for the Algemene Waterschapspartij (AWP), which made it to two seats in the preliminary outcome of the elections. These two seats were confirmed in the final outcome. Still, Taal will take a seat on the board based on preferential votes. ‘Unreal.’

The definitive outcome was published on Thursday, 23 March. ‘I just heard an hour ago’, says Taal, still somewhat overwhelmed, in a phone call. ‘I am about to travel to Apeldoorn to present my credentials and have my official portrait taken.’

‘Over eight thousand people voted for me’, she continues. ‘Those people said: we believe in you. It is up to me now to earn that trust. It is a very special feeling – almost unreal.’

Different perspective

Prior to the elections, Taal explained how she got involved in the water authorities during her high school years and joined the youth board. She believes it is time for more diversity in management. ‘Most Water Authority boards are made up of men aged over sixty. I am one-third of their age and female. I believe there is something to be said for people with different perspectives getting a say.’ With her seat, that goal is already achieved.

Taal and her fellow board members start their duties on Wednesday, 29 March.

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