Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Background info: embankments in the Netherlands

Besides a random online search for pictures about Dutch embankments, the Rijkswaterstaat Beeldbank offers a search function which yields over 15000 hits on the term ‘dijk’ (embankment/levee).

Source: Beeldbank Rijkswaterstaat

In 2015 a book on the history of Dutch dikes was published, which is a full inventory of embankments constructed all over the Netherlands. It was also issued in English and as an e-book. The video on this website gives a short preview of the book. A short and interesting blog posting chronologically summarizes periods in Dutch river management, while there are many books available that go into this topic. Gerard van de Ven’s ‘Man-made lowlands. History of water management and land reclamation in the Netherlands’ and Alex van Heezik’s ‘Battle over the rivers. Two hundred years of river policy in the Netherlands’ are two well-known examples, which can be found here and here.

The future of Dutch embankments is receiving substantial attention from different angles. The Delta Programme focusses on embankment strengthening and heightening within a climate adaptation context. The Room for the River Programme (nearly completed) also included river widening and embankment removal (or de-poldering). Recently moves were made to consider Dutch embankments as cultural heritage

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