Water safety

Water safety

A large part of our country lies below sea level, which makes us vulnerable to flooding. Protection against flooding will always remain vitally important. Rijkswaterstaat monitors water levels along the coast, in rivers and in lakes.

We issue early warnings of a threat of storms and high water levels, so that water authorities can take action before there is any real danger. If necessary, we close the storm surge barriers.

Delta Works

The Delta Works were built by Rijkswaterstaat to protect the Netherlands against flooding. In total, the Delta Works consist of 3 sluices, 6 dams and 6 storm surge barriers.

Storm surge barriers

Rijkswaterstaat operates 5 major storm surge barriers. In the event of high tides and high sea levels we close the storm surge barriers to prevent the flooding of the hinterland.

Sea level rise

We know that sea levels are continuing to rise as a result of climate change. Our Delta Programme describes how we continue to protect the Netherlands against flooding.

The flood of 1953

The flood of 1953 was the greatest natural disaster to occur in the Netherlands in the 20th century. The disaster of 1953 demonstrated more clearly than ever the importance of protecting the country properly against flooding.

Room for the Rivers

The Netherlands is vulnerable to flooding from the sea, but also from the rivers. For that reason we need to give the rivers more space.

Sand Motor: pilot project for natural coastal protection

Sand Motor is an artificial peninsula off the coast of the Netherlands and ensures that the coast between Hook of Holland and Scheveningen can be restored naturally by accretion.