Cornelis (Cor) van der Veen
President: 1976-1978 (IWSA)


Cornelis (Cor) van der Veen

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Cornelis van de Veen (1922-1994) received his professional training in Civil Engineering at Delft University in the Netherlands. After working in Public Works Amsterdam, he assumed the position of Managing Director at Amsterdam Water Supply Authority in 1965, succeeding Cornelis Biemond who was one of IWSA’s founding members and IWSA’s first President.

As Managing Director, he was responsible for completing a multi-decade project for Amsterdam’s drinking water that included extractions of water from the River Rhine, the treatment and recharge of this surface water into a complex of coastal aquafers and lakes around Amsterdam.

Major Contributions to IWA

Cor van der Veen was a very prominent member of IWSA, which included his service as IWSA President 1976-1978 and his organizing the 1976 IWSA Biennial Congress in Amsterdam.

Within IWSA, he is remembered in three major areas.  First, he was a leader within IWSA in the area of innovative water resources in the context of a large-scale urban water supply.  Second, and related, he greatly enhanced efforts undertaken by Cornelius Biemond to both reduce and prevent upstream pollution on the Rhine, including the growth and sustenance of the IAWR in the Rhine Basin, for which he later served as President.  Third, for his tireless efforts within IWSA to promote solutions to the challenges of water supply and sanitation in developing countries, represented in part by his chairing and major involvement in the IWSA Standing Committee for Cooperation in Developing Countries.

Cor van der Veen had a unique and very successful capacity in mobilizing public opinion for the importance of a reliable water supply in both the developed and developing countries.

Author:  Paul D Reiter

Major Contributions:  Maarten Gast, Theo Martijn