Room for the River

The Netherlands is under constant threat from flooding. Indeed, this threat is on the rise as the flood plains of rivers continue to shrink. What’s more, water levels are rising due to more frequent and heavier rainfall.

In response to this threat, the Dutch government has launched a programme called Room for the River. It aims to reduce the risk of flooding by giving rivers more room to flood.

What is Rijkswaterstaat doing?

Rijkswaterstaat is taking measures to increase the capacity of rivers to cope with high water levels at 30 locations in the Netherlands. For example, we are moving dykes further inland, allowing rivers to spread out over a wider area. We are also building flood channels and, in some areas, we are lowering the floodplains.

These areas will then be flooded during periods of high water, temporarily giving the river more room and relieving the pressure on the dykes.

Making room for the river: IJsseldelta

The IJsseldelta will be given more room by deepening the shipping channel and building a flood channel. The flood channel will be located between 2 dykes and will be filled during periods of high water. This will allow the river to discharge a larger volume of water more quickly, thus reducing the risk of flooding.