Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Water in the Netherlands

Section 16  - Water in the Netherlands

40% of the Netherlands is below sea level.

The struggle against the sea / water (the fight against).

New landscapes are created.
  • terps = protection against the rising sea level.

  • dikes = initially only used as protection, later more offensive, to reclaim land. For example salt meadows (= kwelders) outside the dikes were reclaimed.

Water level is regulated. 

Types of polders:
  • - sea polders
  • - peat polders
  • - “droogmakerijen”

Problem = outside water can seep through the dikes into the polder.

More space for water

In the past = ‘watermanagement’ = to keep the land dry.
In the future = ‘watermanagement‘ = water will be retained, areas will be deliberately flooded.

Why ? Climate change – (1) summers drier, winters wetter. (2) sea level is rising.

Space for rivers
  • to keep the land dry water was discharged by (1) digging ditches and canals or (2) strainghtening out streams (3) pumping stations.
  • in the future water will even be retained, certain areas will be deliberately flooded.

A permanent coast
  • dikes must be reinforced due to the rising sea level.
  • sand replenishment = due to erosion.

  • dehydration (verdroging) drop in the ground water level.
  • extinction of certain vegetation = drought.
  • water table has dropped by 30 cm. 
  1. farming (water extraction for irrigation)
  2. drinking water (water extraction)
  3. industry (water extraction)
  4. asphalting = less water can subside into the underground (deceased infiltration / seep through) 
Managing and Reducing Losses from Water