Dutch Delta Works

Delta Works keep Holland dry

Delta Works keep Holland dry

60% of the Dutch are living below sea level

The Delta Works is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. Needed because 60% of the Dutch live below sea level

The works consist of damssluiceslocksdykeslevees, and storm surge barriers. The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised.

Along with the Zuiderzee Works, Delta Works have been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.


Delta plan to prevent because of the rising of the sea level – climate change

In September 2008, the Delta commission presided by Dutch politician Cees Veerman advised in a report that the Netherlands would need a massive new building program to strengthen the country’s water defenses against the anticipated effects of global warming for the next 190 years. The plans included drawing up worst-case scenarios for evacuations and included more than €100 billion, or $144 billion, in new spending through the year 2100 for measures, such as broadening coastal dunes and strengthening sea and river dikes.


Water has always played a central part in Dutch history. On one hand it brought wealth to the Netherlands through trade and fishery; on the other hand it brought a number of losses through the many floods. To date water has remained important for the Netherlands. From a geographical point of view, the Netherlands are placed in a very favorable position; at the sea and in the delta (a triangular section of land at the mouth of a river) of four large rivers.

Drained area’s

The Dutch surface area has almost doubled through centuries of “poldering” (area drained and prepared for agriculture) lakes and parts of the sea. As a result of this poldering almost 40 percent of the land lies below sea level. Areas include large parts of the highly populated and the economically important west, with cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. To keep these areas dry, superfluous water is continuously pumped out of the polders. Furthermore, the Netherlands is protected from floods through a combination of levees, dunes, dams and barriers.  After the last big flood of 1953, people decided to build the Delta Works; one of the largest built flood protection and water management projects in the world.


E. info@betterworldsolutions.eu

W. www.rijkswaterstaat.nl