Quarter of Zeeland flood defenses don't meet safety standards
Over a quarter of Zeeland’s sea dikes and dunes do not meet the new safety standard set by the government in 2017. These flood defenses must be reinforced by 2050 to meet the safety requirements. The Scheldestromen water board expects to need an estimated 1.5 billion euros for the reinforcement operation over the next 30 years. There are no immediate safety problems.
After an investigation, the water board rejected 114 kilometers of sea defenses on an area of 425 kilometers. Philipp Keller, responsible for the flood defense portfolio at Scheldestromen, said he is not surprised by the outcome. He pointed out that the UN climate panel IPCC also warned of a faster rise in sea level than previously assumed.
The Zeeland water board has to pay 10 percent of the costs of the dyke improvements. The other 90 percent of the costs will be borne by all 21 water boards in the country and the central government. Sheldestromen said that it could not meet these costs in the long term. It is, therefore, in talks with the central government about financing the reinforcements of the flood defenses.
Reporting by ANP