Water wizards: Dutch flood expertise is big export business

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 01:24:05 AM. On a calm, clear morning, historic wooden fishing boats float tranquilly on the glassy waters of the Dutch harbor of Spakenburg. Yet just over a century ago, they were slamming through the houses lining the harbor as a powerful storm unleashed flooding that devastated this picturesque fishing...
On a calm, clear morning, historic wooden fishing boats float tranquilly on the glassy waters of the Dutch harbor of Spakenburg. Yet just over a century ago, they were slamming through the houses lining the harbor as a powerful storm unleashed flooding that devastated this picturesque fishing village. These days, an innovative new self-raising dike protects the village on the edge of Eemmeer Lake, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Amsterdam. The 300-meter (984-foot) long barrier is concealed in the sidewalk when not in use, and is lifted up to 80 centimeters (31 inches) by the very floodwaters it is designed to keep out. It's just the latest example of Dutch ingenuity and planning in this low-lying nation's constant battle with water — and increasingly, technology like it is becoming a lucrative Dutch export. "We live here in a very vulnerable place," said Roeland Hillen, director of the Dutch Flood Protection Program. "We have to adapt to survive." That message resonates with many other flood-prone countries now attending climate change talks in Bonn, where delegates from some 195 nations have gathered to discuss rules for implementing the 2015 Paris climate accord. The meeting in the former German capital, which runs until Friday, is being presided over by Fiji, one of the many small island nations threatened by rising sea levels. "We will feel the impact of climate change all over the world most profoundly through water," said Henk Ovink, the Netherlands' Special...Read more
Share this

You might also like

Similar