Let’s bring in the floods: de-poldering in the Netherlands as a strategy for long-term delta survival?

Staveren, M.F. van; Warner, J.F.; Tatenhove, J. van; Wester, P.


Controlled flooding, while heavily contested, is being experimented with in the Dutch delta as a new and ecologically oriented strategy to deal with floods, in contrast to the conventional flood prevention paradigm. The Noordwaard project (2012–15) represents an exemplary case. At the expense of agricultural practices, land is set aside occasionally to accommodate river floods, while restored flood and tidal dynamics aim to benefit nature development. It is argued that although controlled flooding aims to restore historical land and water dynamics in the area, the role of sedimentation processes has remained largely unaddressed in relation to shaping long-term delta futures.