In the last 800 years, the Dutch have created innovative solutions to water-related problems that threaten communities, economic capital, and quality of life. A series of measures help keep Dutch cities safe and attractive, including multifunctional levees, flood-resilient buildings, and green infrastructure.
The Netherlands and American regions at risk of floods and storm surge actively exchange expertise on how to properly manage water for protection, taking into account the impact of a changing climate.
With 60 percent of its land prone to flooding, the Netherlands has learned to live with water and harness its power. The Room for the River project, one of the biggest mitigation projects in the country, served as inspiration for communities along the Mississippi River and in California.
Besides keeping water out, the Dutch also know how to make and keep water clean. Built on four centuries of hard-earned experience, the Dutch are unrivaled in areas such as drinking water production, water distribution, sewage management, and wastewater treatment.
The Netherlands uses methods that work in harmony to protect the country. This innovative integrated approach ranges from storm surge barriers, dikes and levees to eco-dynamic building, smart architecture and the use of natural barriers. All supported by a unique system of governance.
The Dutch Digital Delta uses Big Data to show all the water flowing in the Netherlands on one dashboard. It indicates for example the location of weak areas in dikes or where water has reached critical levels and can be linked to models to prevent flooding.
The Netherlands has developed several smart ways to purify water, including the usage of worms to minimize sewage sludge and sieving techniques that separate toilet paper from waste water.
The Dutch believe the work is never done. The Netherlands needs to keep preparing to be safe from water problems, not just now, but in centuries ahead. Dutch companies and experts are partnering with American companies to find ways to make coastal regions in states like New York, New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut safer.
The Netherlands invests millions of euros every year to keep the ecosystem healthy and protect nature. The Rich Dike is a prime example of such eco-dynamic building. The project combines flood protection with ecological development by sea walls and wave breakers out of “Eco-Xblocs,” that provide an optimal habitat for macro algae and shellfish.
The Netherlands is a leading force in helping to improve access to clean and safe water around the world. The Dutch developed systems to detect harmful bacteria and chemicals in water, to use water as efficiently as possible and found ways to close the water cycle in order to prevent wasting this precious source.