Flood defences

As a low-lying country the Netherlands has faced the threat of floods throughout its history. The original inhabitants in the Early Iron Age battled water by building terps. Later, roughly from the year 1000, a start was made on putting up dikes in coastal and river areas. For centuries there were major dike failures that caused catastrophic flooding and repeatedly resulted in the building of stronger and higher dikes. The most recent flood disaster occurred back in 1953 and prompted the construction of the world-famous Delta Works.

Even in the 21st century, the Netherlands' water safety still requires attention. The government-appointed Veerman Committee stated in its Delta Report published in 2008 that urgent flood protection improvements were needed.

Witteveen+Bos has a large group of in-house specialists in flood protection. Using our extensive knowledge of geo-engineering and dike embodiments, we provide bespoke consultancy. Bespoke means climate-proof solutions that factor in the surroundings and the budget available. We assist proactively in communicating with local residents and companies and in the administrative decision-making processes.

We advise national and international clients on:

  • examining and designing dikes and dike reinforcements
  • flood safety studies
  • planning studies and river-widening plans
  • policy-making for tackling flooding issues