Six years ago I wrote about Dutch endless struggle against water. Dutchies are famous for their knowledge about dams. Dams are everywhere here because more than the half of The Netherlands is located below sea level. Dams are needed to keep great part if the country dry.
The image below shows 44 dijkringen spread all over the country. Dijkringen (singular dijkring) or dike-ring are areas that protected against flooding by one single dike. Some dikes dated from 11th century. Unfortunately I haven’t found any credible source about the oldest dike.
Map is courtesy of Helpdeskwater
The worst scenario Dutchies are afraid of is when a dike breaks. This is not exaggerated as the weather is unpredictable. Weather conditions get more extreme, sea level increases and heavy rains happen more often according to statistics.
To increase awareness of possible flooding Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment launched a campaign called Overstroom ik? Would I be flooded? last September.
The first text says Do you live in a risky area? Our dikes protect us from flooding but it could go wrong one day. Do you know how high the water in your neighbourhood can be? Next to the last question there is a place icon where one can fill in the zip code where he lives.
I filled mine and this could happen if a dike breaks nearby my house. Water could be 3 meter high when it floods. This is not a surprise for me because I live in the dijkring 48, upper left right under dijkring 47 if you look at the first image above.
When I clicked on Wat betekent dit? What does it means. Explanations follow what do I have to do. What could I do. The risks or privileges of staying or leaving the house. Evacuation plan. How to prepare for the flood. In short this campaign has been successful for me. Now I am more aware of the flooding risk.
To give you better impression here is another map of the dike rings with city’s names. The red lines are the dikes.
Map is courtesy of Publicwiki Deltares
Back to the campaign. It is a good one. The explanation is easy and the visual is very clear to understand. Overstroom ik is also available in mobile app. I downloaded it.
I hope this tiny country will stay dry.