Help, we face monsoons: rivers are rising fast

Help, we face monsoons: rivers are rising fast

The next days, the water level in the rivers Rhine, Waal and IJssel, will reach maybe the highest level ever in summer times

Will we keep our feet dry? Rivers are rising fast!

Since May 31th, it’s awfully raining in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It looks like the monsoons we know from South East Asia. 

The next days, the water level in the rivers Rhine, Waal and IJssel, will reach maybe the highest level ever in summer times. A water level of more than 14 meters above sea level is not usual for this time of year.


Along the shores and banks of the rivers are flooded streets. Ferries have been taken out of service and the floodplains are filled up with water. Campings have to evacuate, cows have been taken to higher areas and festivals have been warned.

Not critical

Although the water level in major rivers is still rising, the Netherlands doesn’t face a critical situation, according tot a spokesman from the Dutch Water Authorities. But the water level in the Rhine can still rise because of meltwater from Switzerland and Germany.

For the Meuse the Authorities expect a higher water level from rainwater, particularly from the Ardennes.

In the lower situated rivers Rhine, Lek and Meuse, several barrages have been opened to get rid of the water.

If the water reaches much higher levels, all kind of protocols will start. All authorities are monitoring the levels closely 24 hours a day.

Impacts of climate change

Help, we face monsoons: rivers are rising fast

1500 kilometers of dikes have been broadened and/or strengthened

Global warming has worldwide implications for the environment, our health and safety and the availability of food and water.

  • Global warming implicates that sea level are rising
    Researchers expect that by 2100, the sea level will be 80 cm higher because of melting ice caps. Within 30 years, half of the sea ice around the North Pole will be disappeared.
    Moreover, hot water needs more space because it expands. The sea ice in the Arctic will disappear rapidly.
  • Impact
    Because it is warmer, it will be drier in a large parts of the world and wetter in other areas. Especially Delta areas will have to deal with this densely populated coastal areas and river deltas.

The main consequences of climate change for the Netherlands

  • Winters are softer
  • It will be wetter: in spring, autumn and winter we will face more rainfall
  • Summers will be more extreme: drier, hotter and more heavy rainfall
  • This Delta region will have to challenge ‘monsoons’. Rivers and drains will have more problems to drain the water properly during heavy rainfall

The Netherlands are likely to manage the effects of climate change. The country:

  • reinforced dikes and dunes
  • create storage areas along rivers for additional river water
  • created storage areas like flood basements in cities and villages

But it’s still thrilling to watch the rivers from higher levels.


3Di floods: avoid disaster management during a flood


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