The Netherlands is located in the delta of the Nederrijn, and most of its territory is below sea level. Dutch expertise in terms of flood protection is world renowned. Dutch knowledge in delta management is exported to other countries through projects in which WUR collaborates with partners, such as Deltares, foreign governments and/or Dutch companies.
Future scenarios flood disasters
Safety in deltas and coastal zones is of paramount importance in the Netherlands, as 70% of the country’s GDP is earned in areas prone to flooding and most people live in these areas. WUR experts in flood management are working in developing countries such as Bangladesh to protect those countries against flooding. In Bangladesh alone, 60 million 26 people live in flood-prone areas. The consequences of flood disasters in these areas are cataclysmic. WUR has developed future scenarios for Bangladesh and has proposed nature-based solutions to deal with erosion in Bangladesh while improving ecosystem services.
Besides Bangladesh, WUR has collaborated in the Delta plans of the
Mekong River in Vietnam, and the Kapuas and Mahakam river in Indonesia. Each of these locations has its peculiarities and challenges. Delta management is not all about building dykes and fighting erosion, but also about water quality, natural environment, and local communities. WUR experts are studying how to avoid groundwater salinisation to provide freshwater to communities living in delta areas.