Worry in the Netherlands: dykes are cracking as one in three people live below sea level

This summer’s drought has, as in our country, significant repercussions on the level of rivers in our Dutch neighbours. Even though barges still sail on the Rhine between Germany and the Netherlands, the tributaries are dry and the dykes are cracking.

The owner of a barge explains that her floating house has hit bottom: In normal times, we do not see the stones. We are level with the grass and sometimes we are even 6 or 7 meters higher. Of course I am worried and not only for me. This is a problem for all of us!”

Farmers are called to the rescue

For great evils, great remedies, farmers now come to water the dikes every two days, and obviously it works. For the head of the Bois-Le-Duc water office, the cracks close gradually.

Without the dikes several cities would have already disappeared under water

In summer, the levels are low, but in winter, the water can rise very high and weigh on the structures. If the dykes did not exist in the Netherlands, several cities would already have disappeared under water. A third of Dutch people live below sea level.

The canals are connected to each other, and if a single dike collapses, the consequences will be catastrophic. In the past five years, the Netherlands has experienced four droughts. Experts fear a worsening of the situation.

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