The Afsluitdijk

The Afsluitdijk

The Afsluitdijk has been protecting the Netherlands from the sea for more than eighty years. However, the dike no longer meets the current requirements for flood protection.

Rijkswaterstaat is therefore going to reinforce the Afsluitdijk (PDF, 1,61 MB). We plan to make the dike overflow-resistant by replacing the outer cladding and will strengthen the sluices and locks. We are also going to install powerful pumps in the sluice complex at Den Oever so that more surplus water can be discharged from the IJsselmeer into the Wadden Sea. The Afsluitdijk’s new pumping station is expected to be the largest in Europe.

The New Afsluitdijk

It is an icon of our country. A structure spanning 32 kilometres one that has kept the Netherlands safe for over 80 years. That is something to be proud of. A wonder of the modern world, made of millions of cobblestones. Laid one by one by thousands of hands. It was built to keep the sea out and to create additional arable land. The water will always try to reclaim The Netherlands. By building our dikes, we the Dutch, have made it possible to live below sea level. To ensure our future safety we are reinforcing the Afsluitdijk. Once on every 10,000 years a storm can hit unlike any other. That is what the dike will protect us from. In order to drain excess water from the IJsselmeer into the Wadden Sea we are building what will be Europe’s largest pumping station within the dike, which will be ready to pump out water should the need arise. The Afsluitdijk will become a place where safety goes hand in hand with unique innovations. A place where we strive towards achieving sustainable energy. This is where we will harness the inexhaustible power of the current. And we are the only nation in the world that generates electricity from the convergence of freshwater and saltwater. We will be helping our wildlife too with the creation of the Fish Migration River. Fish will be able to reach their natural spawning grounds and habitats. This is what we are capable of: a large-scale, hydraulic work of art that is ready for the future. And that future starts here, in 2017 with the construction of the New Afsluitdijk.

The many faces of the Afsluitdijk