A large part of our country lies below sea level; that makes us vulnerable to flooding. Protection against flooding will always remain vitally important.
Protection against flooding
In 2013, the Delta Works were voted the most prestigious hydraulic engineering project in the world
'Proud of hydraulic engineering'On Wednesday 3 January 2018, a severe storm caused water levels to rise all along the coast. For the first time ever, Rijkswaterstaat closed all 5 of the country’s storm surge barriers on the same day. Harold van Waveren, a senior adviser in Rijkswaterstaat’s Water division, looks back on this historic day.
The principal purpose of the Delta Works is to protect the country against flooding, but the flood barriers also have other benefits:
- The dams allow the flow of water to be manipulated to admit fresh water and release polluted water, thus improving the quality of the water.
- They ensure a larger supply of fresh water on the landward side which benefits agriculture.
- They improve access to large parts of the province of Zeeland for inland shipping, for example by mitigating the impact of tidal movements.
- They have helped to create new nature reserves and recreational areas. The Oosterschelde National park, for instance, has been created from exposed sand and mud flats, while new bodies of water are popular with visitors for the walking and cycling paths or water sports.
- The Delta Works are impressive structures and some, such as the Hollandsche IJssel storm barrier and the Haringvliet sluices, have been declared national monuments.