Monday, October 20, 2014 - 14:14
German dike break could ravage Netherlands
Eastern Netherlands up to Zwolle can be flooded if a dike breaks on the German side of the border in the catchment area of the Rijn. Recent figures from the water board Rijn and IJssel shows that such a break could cause hundreds of deaths and tens of billions of euro in damages. This board manages the Dutch section of a dike ring that extends into Germany. This ring is crucial for flood protection in the Netherlands. If a dike breaks here, there is a risk that other rings inland will break too. The Rijn enters the Netherlands at Spijk. Spijk falls into the so called dike ring 48, of which half is in Germany. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, dike ring 48 is of national importance. Increasingly more water will drain from the Rijn due to climate change. The Cabinet presented the Delta Program in September, to reduce the risk of flooding. It states that almost all river dikes must be strengthened. The protection standard for dike ring 48 is thirty times higher than for other dikes. The Netherlands is highly dependent on measures in Germany in this matter. If dike ring 48 is not in order, dike reinforcement in the Netherlands won't help. German and Dutch water managers and administrators will discuss Germany's flood plans next week in the German Rees.