Did You Know: Room For The River

The Netherlands is one of the most efficient countries in water management and innovation, likely because of the country’s long fight to keep water from taking over the land. Roughly one third of the Netherlands in below sea-level, and the country has experienced many floods that caused evacuations, destruction of farmland, and death.

Historically, the Netherlands has built dykes and berms to keep the water back, but recent years have yielded news ways of thinking about water management.

Room for the River is a program designed to give water a safe place to go in the event of flooding [1]. In over 30 locations, measures were implemented to minimize the effect of rising water levels. Some of these measures meant relocating dykes further inland to allow more space for flooding, increasing river depths, lowering the flood plain, storing water, and creating high water channels.

dutch relocation 1
dutch relocation 2
Photo sourced from [1]

In an effort to increase safety for the country in the years to come, the program identified certain areas to be sacrificed to rising water levels, and some farmers and homeowners relocated to make room for the river.

[1] https://www.ruimtevoorderivier.nl/english/

Cover photo from https://www.directdutch.com/2013/07/word-of-the-day-polder-polder/

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