YouTuber Tom Scott visited the Waterloopbos in Marknesse in the Noordoostpolder and had a little chat with Leo van Rijn, a specialist in modelling the flow of watercourses.
As wiki says: “The Waterloopbos [literally ‘Watercourse Forest’] was the property of Delft Hydraulics […]. In 35 large scale models of sea arms and harbours, such as the Deltaworks and the harbour of Lagos, tests were performed in order to learn how to predict the way large hydraulic systems influence the course of water.”
The laboratory closed in 1995 and the forest is now owned by Natuurmonumenten and is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset (Dutch). It is part of the Voorsterbos, the oldest forest in Flevoland, a province that was entirely reclaimed from the water.
The Afsluitdijk, a 32-kilometer dike that is 87 years old, is one of the key water defences against the sea, located between the provinces of North Holland and Friesland. Due to climate change, which causes rising sea levels and storms, the dike is being thoroughly renovated through 2023. You’ll notice that at least the parties involved believe in climate change – they’re not taking any chances. “The Netherlands is currently the safest delta in the world,” the government said. “We want to keep it that way.” Although sea levels have been rising for years, the levels are rising more quickly.
Engineers are strengthening the Afsluitdijk, including laying thousands of custom-made concrete blocks and raising parts of it. They are also improving the highway that runs over the narrow strip of human-made land which lies between the shallow Wadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer inland sea and which, despite its name, is technically a dam rather than a dike because it separates water from water.
This kind of innovation and the constant care needed to maintain the Netherland’s thousands of miles of dikes and levees does not come cheap. The government has earmarked nearly 18 billion euros ($20 billion) to fund such projects for the period from 2020-2033.
Engineers at Deltares Research Institute, an independent institute for applied research in water and subsurface near Delft, South Holland are claiming to have created the largest artificial waves in the world.
Created in a huge concrete tank called the Delta Flume, the waves measure five metres high. The engineers say they can get even bigger waves. The tank holds nine million litres of water, pumped in from a reservoir at 1,000 litres a second. This new facility cost 26 million euro and took two years to build.
What’s the actual use of this facility? To be able to create waves to test life-size water defences. We’re always told that two-thirds of the Netherlands could be flooded, and back in 1953 it was heavily flooded, making water defences essential. Generating bigger waves is the only way to find out if flood defences can cope with rising tides.
Last Tuesday the Netherlands unveiled a multi-billion-euro, multi-decade plan to counter the biggest environmental threat to the nation: surging seawater caused by global climate change.
For centuries, the Dutch have battled the waters of the North Sea that have at times flooded large swathes of the country, particularly in its southwestern Zeeland province. After a disastrous flood in 1953 which left almost 2,000 people dead in Zeeland, the Dutch built a system of dams, storm surge barriers, dykes and other water-management projects, known collectively as the Delta Works, to keep the sea out.
But a growing population, growing industry and climate change have necessitated a ‘new Delta plan,’ Schultz van Haegen said as she unveiled the details in The Hague. A study by the Dutch National Environmental and Living Institute, released last week, showed one in three dykes or dams did not comply with current safety standards.
Wikipedia tells us that the Delta Works have been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by American Society of Civil Engineers.
Tweede Maasvlakte indicated with a dotted line. The white blotches to the North-East are caused by sunlight reflecting off the greenhouses of the Westland area.
Today Queen Beatrix will officially close the last bit of an 11 kilometre dam that encloses an area of the North Sea that should become new land this year.
The Tweede Maasvlakte will be a 2,000 hectares large area atttached to the first Maasvlakte (‘tweede’ means ‘second’) outside Rotterdam that will be used as part of the port. The Betuwelijn railroad will be extended into it. It will mainly be used as a container harbour.
Last week inhabitants of the Horstermeer polder just south of Amsterdam removed a 10 ton weir placed there by the AGV water board (Amstel, Gooi and Vecht regions). They claim the dam creates a dangerous situation.
The water board wants to let nature run its course in a part of the polder by letting water levels rise, effectively turning part of the polder into marshland. The inhabitants fear that since their houses are typically located at the lowest point of the polder, the centre, these higher water levels will damage their properties.
According to the polder dwellers, the water board never filed official plans for their dam, so that the inhabitants could not legally protest its placement. The water board has reported the theft of a weir to the police.
Water boards are a parallel government in the Netherlands for the management of water.