The Netherlands has always been proud to have one of the most revolutionary anti-flood systems on the globe. So, how did the Dutch beat the ocean? You will find out after reading the post.
The Dutch Created The Netherlands
We all know that all sides of the Netherlands are the ocean. However, instead of letting nature overpower them, the Dutch are in control of their lives.
To honor their attainment, they sculpture an inscription next to the Storm Surge Barrier in Eastern Scheldt. The caption is “hier gaan over het tij, de maan, wind en wij,”. In English, it means “The tide here is ruled by Thee: Moon, Wind, and We.”
It’s also relevant to the common saying of the Dutch that “God created the Earth, but the Dutch created the Netherlands.”
The Reason Why The Dutch Built Water Protection Systems – The Dutch Beat The Ocean
In 1953, a storm claimed more than 2,000 Dutch lives. Besides, WWII left levees badly maintained. As a result, the Dutch had to face serious damage due to the combination of severe storms and a high spring tide. The waters flooded over many hectares of homes, fields, and people.
The government then decided to build elaborate water protection systems in order to avoid further damage. During the following 4 decades, people protective barriers, dams as well as ever-more advanced systems. All they want is the devastation in “The ‘53” would never occur again.
The Dutch now have 13 barriers and dams in total. These barriers and dams make up Delta Works.
The Eastern Scheldt And The Maeslant Barrier
The Eastern Scheldt is the biggest of the 13 grand barriers and dams in the Netherlands.
Another remarkable structure is the Maeslant Barrier. It is on the major waterway to the biggest seaport in Europe, Rotterdam.
How Do These Barriers Work? – The Dutch Beat The Ocean
The storm surge barriers that cover the low-lying parts of the Netherlands are miles long. For example, the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier contains 62 steel slides in-between concrete posts weighing above 18,000 tons and nearly 40 meters high. They are one of the most modern wonders on the globe until now.
The Maeslant Barrier contains two 22-meter high and 210-meter long hollow steel gates. It often rests in surrounding dry ports. When there are storm tides of at least 3 meters, the entrances will swing out and close the waterways. After closing, the gates create a next-to-watertight shielding barrier.
On a daily basis, the system creates a free flow for fish and water. It makes the area a flourishing marine ecosystem. When a heavy storm approaches, these barriers will be lowered to preserve the ground beyond.
The Cost Of Building And Maintaining The Barriers
The building of these ultimate achievements of engineering cost approximately 5% of the overall GDP. It took more than 20 years, from 1953 to 1997, to accomplish the Maeslant Barrier.
To maintain the full system, the Dutch have to spend about 1.8 billion dollars a year.
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