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Land Reclamation in the Netherlands

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Tsui Fung Tan

on 22 July 2010

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Transcript of Land Reclamation in the Netherlands

Land Reclamation
Background Information The modern day Netherlands are divided into 12 provinces (provincies in Dutch).
Flevoland pronunciation is a province of the Netherlands.
Located in the centre of the country, at the location of the former Zuiderzee, the province was established on January 1, 1986;
The twelfth province of the country
The province has approximately 370,000 inhabitants (2005) and consists of 6 municipalities.

After a flood in 1916, it was decided that the Zuiderzee (zai-der-zey), an inland sea within the Netherlands, would be enclosed and reclaimed: the Zuiderzee Works started.

It was completed in 1932, which closed off the sea completely.
The Zuiderzee was subsequently called IJsselmeer (ahy-shu-mey) (lake at the end of the river IJssel).

The first part of the new lake that was reclaimed was the Noordoostpolder (Northeast polder).
This new land included the former islands of Urk and Schokland and it was included in the province of Overijssel.
After this, other parts were reclaimed: the Southeastern part in 1957 and the Southwestern part in 1968.
Flevopolder became an artificial island joined to the mainland by bridges. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flevoland The Netherlands located in North-West Europe.
It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy.

The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and water borders with Denmark, Norway and United Kingdom.

The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague (heyg).

The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces (see terminology of "the Netherlands").

The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything pertaining to the Netherlands. The adjective 'Dutch' is derived from the language that was spoken in the area, called 'Diets', which equals Middle Dutch.

"God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland".

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, with 50% of its land lying less than one metre above sea level.
Population of Netherlands is 16.8 million.

Significant land area has been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes.

Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse(myooz)-Scheldt (skelt) delta.

Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast and several low-hill ranges in the central parts. Land reclamation is either of two distinct practices.
One involves creating new land from sea or riverbeds.
The other refers to restoring an area to a more natural state (such as after pollution, deforestation or salination have made it unusable).
Land Reclamation – A Tale of Two Countries
Methods of Land Reclamation

Landfill Method is used to create land by draining waterlogged areas such as swamps and marshes and filling them with material like sand to form dry land.

Empoldering is a method of creating land from the sea through the use of polders.

Polders in the Netherlands
•Polder is a piece of land in a low-lying area that has been reclaimed from a body of water by building dikes (concrete walls) and drainage canals.
•Empoldering is commonly carried out in low-lying coastal areas but can also be applied to inland areas like lakes.

Almost half of the Netherlands actually lies below sea level. In some parts of the country, the sea water level may actually be several metres above the land. The most successful project has been the Zuider Zee Reclamation Scheme. It was originally a shallow inland sea. It is now known as Flevoland.

Singapore Vs Netherlands
Land Size before reclamation581.5 km / 227 883 km2
Land Size after reclamation699 km / 233 883 km2
Percentage increase (%)20.2% / 21.5%

Reasons for land reclamation
•Small country (581.5km2 prior to 1960) and a rapidly growing population
•Rising demand for more land for various uses.
•It is the most densely populated country in Europe
•Half of its land lies below sea level, has resulted in a scarcity of land.
•Prevent flooding of the many islands under sea level

Uses of reclaimed land
1.Building more homes in private and public housing estates
2.Recreational facilities
3.commercial and industrial activities
4.transport needs, (airport facilities, terminals and expressways).

•Enclosing of low-lying polders in which groundwater levels could be controlled.
Land is reclaimed for
3.Freshwater Lake


Method of reclamation
(State stages and briefly describe stages)Landfill
1) Columns of sand known as piles are forced into the soft clay of the seabed to make the land more stable.
2) A sand wall is built around the area to be reclaimed to keep the sea water out of the area . The sand is then loaded into the sea just outside the sand wall and stored there until it is needed.
3) The sand that had been stored outside the sand wall is being sucked up and then pumped into the enclosed area.
4) It is later compressed and a granite wall is built on the side facing the sea to prevent the area from being eroded by waves.
5) Trees and other types of vegetation are grown on the reclaimed land to prevent the erosion of the soil and the number of years depends on how the land is being used.

1)A dike is constructed around the area to be reclaimed to keep water from coming in.
2)The area is drained using pumps and drainage canals.
3)Reeds, a type of plant, are sown by aircraft to help the soil form.
4)After 3 years, the reeds are burnt and the ash is used as fertilizers for the soil.
5)After a period of 15 years, the polder is ready for growing crops, building houses and other uses.

Difficulties faced in reclaiming land.
1) Shortage of sand/landfill to reclaim more land as Indonesia has stopped selling sand to Singapore.
2) Singapore cannot reclaim land indefinitely. Current technology only allows reclamation of land from waters up to 15m in depth. It is too costly to reclaimed land beyond 15m deep.
3) Singapore is surrounded by other countries and it cannot reclaim land beyond its boundaries.
4) Sea space is required to maintain accessibility to the ports.

1) Dike may be damaged or collapsed and it will flood the whole area.
2) Constant pumping of water out of the polder (reclaimed land) is required.
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