Dordrecht, Marken and IJssel-Vecht delta to be test area for “multi-layered” protection against flooding

Dordrecht should become a self-reliant island. The residents of Marken and the IJssel-Vecht delta should not only be protected from high water by dikes, but also by more intelligent buildings and sound evacuation plans. The region and the government are launching three Multi-Year Plan for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport (MIRT) studies into the possibilities for making these regions safer from flooding.  

Administrative consultation

That is one of the results of the administrative consultations on the Multi-Year Plan for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport (MIRT) involving water. Together with the regions, Minister Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure & the Environment has decided to test what is referred to as “multi-layered safety”. In addition to prevention by building dikes and dams (1st layer) the Netherlands can be made safer by using spatial planning more intelligently (2nd layer) and by better organising disaster management (3rd layer). The tests are part of the Delta Programme.

Spatial planning and evacuation

Spatial planning is aimed at designing districts and cities in such a way as to keep the consequences of flooding limited, and constructing homes so that water of up to a certain level does not cause damage. Improved disaster management means, on the one hand, that the government must have its evacuation plans in good order and communicate these properly. On the other hand, citizens and companies must consider the question: what should I do if things go wrong?

Noord-Nederland

In addition to the multi-layered safety pilots in Dordrecht, Marken and the IJssel-Vecht delta, the government and Noord-Nederland are starting an MIRT study in the region to examine the ecological recovery of the Eems delta. Based on the findings, bilateral agreements will be made with Germany to bring the region’s economy (including the chemicals and energy top sectors) and the ecology of the Eems-Dollard region into better balance. It was also agreed in the administrative consultations that a decision will be made in the year ahead about the widening of the Kornwerderzand lock complex. This is part of the Afsluitdijk (Closure Dike) modernisation project. The region will bear the costs (indication: 250,000 euros).

Zeeland

In the administrative consultation with Zeeland, Minister Schultz decided to bring the drainage sluice near Flakkee into service as a test site for the Tidal Test Centre (TTC) in the Grevelingen Dam. The project costs amount to 5 million euros. At the TTC, concepts will be developed and tested in which ‘blue’ energy will be generated using (existing) hydraulic engineering structures like dams, sluices, weirs and pumping stations. The difference in level between and high and low tide creates tidal currents from which electricity can be extracted. This should ultimately lead to the development of a tidal power plant in the Brouwers Dam.

An agreement was also made with Zeeland that the province will take the lead in drawing up a financing proposal for the protection of the Roggenplaat sandbar in the Oosterschelde. Together  with Natuurmonumenten (nature conservation and management society), Oosterschelde National Park and the government, the province will examine how to tackle the structural erosion known as ‘sand demand’. The decision in this regard will be made in 2014. In this way, the balance between safety, the economy and ecology will be restored.