Salt affected lowlands exist in (deltaic) areas all around the world, including The Netherlands. With a changing climate, the negative impacts of salinizing groundwater on (crop) growth and surface water quality are expected to increase in these areas. Anticipating controlled drainage can likely be used as a means to counteract these problems, by active steering of groundwater levels based on weather predictions and actual salt and moisture conditions. This study aims to characterise the possibilities for use of controlled drainage to this end, based on extensive modelling, the creation of a management tool and in situ experimentation. The latter will be carried out in a controlled environment on a golf course, where multiple drain layouts and management strategies are investigated. This will give an indication of the conditions for which the use of anticipating controlled drainage is beneficial for optimization of fresh (precipitation) water use and limitation of (brackish) irrigation water use and seepage of saline groundwater.