Since our land has been inhabited, residents have fought and continue to fight to gain, preserve
preserve and protect it. About a thousand years ago, heavy storms ravaged
North Holland and a lot of land disappeared into the water. This created the Zuiderzee and the large lakes in the region. The first inhabitants therefore had to protect their habitats and the first dykes and dams were built. To manage the dikes and dams special bodies, the water boards, were already established around 1200.
Water management is an ingenious system of dykes, sluices and pumping stations. Without dykes and dunes, half of the Netherlands would not even exist. But our climate is changing and becoming increasingly wetter. Sea levels are rising, while parts of the Netherlands are getting lower.
For centuries, we have kept West Friesland dry with dykes, polder mills and pumping stations, such as the Vier Noorder Koggen steam pumping station. But will we manage to keep our feet dry with the expected sea level rise and climate change? In this lecture, Rob Veenman talks about the past, present and future of water management and about the challenges of keeping West Friesland habitable for our children and grandchildren. keep it habitable.