126 kilometers of dikes in Limburg require reinforcement
Water protection regulations in Limburg were tightened up in 2017, and the full length of the dikes do not yet meet the standards. By 2050, the 180 kilometers of dikes in Limburg must be re-examined and strengthened. This means that in total 12 dike stretches extending for 126 kilometers need to be reinforced.
During the recent flooding in Limburg, it was shown that there were around 16 weak spots in the dikes. “The flooding in July proved that the current dikes are not sufficient and need to be strengthened and enforced”, a spokesperson of the Waterboard Limburg told NU.nl. Temporary emergency dikes will be replaced with permanent dikes.
Plans to strengthen 56 kilometers of dikes in Heel, Kessel, Beesel and Blerick have already been made and are being put into action. The remainder meet the standards of the previous regulations but need to be reinforced to meet the new standards. “It is important that we can quickly proceed with the planning and implementation of the projects with and for the environment”, the spokesperson said.
The enhancement of the dikes means that it will be possible for people to live behind a water barrier, as long as the dike meets the requirements of the 2017 regulations. The new rules also take into account evacuations and financial damages.
The recent flooding in Valkenburg was exempt from these measures. Board member of the Waterboard Limburg said on Thursday to 1Limburg that the flooding was practically unavoidable. Rainfall as what occurred in Valkenburg in July only takes place once every 250 years.
The flooding in Valkenburg caused 200 million euros in property damage, and 200 million euros in lost revenue for businesses in the city.