The Netherlands and water: an age-old battle.
An expertise that will be of increasing value worldwide with rising sea levels.
The Earth is now 1°C warmer that it was before the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, which has led to more and more extreme weather events: heat waves, droughts and a succession of various irreversible changes, like sea level rise.
The sea level rose about 20 cm in the 20th century, due to the expansion of seawater, the melting of glaciers and small ice sheets and the steady shrinking of the large ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. For the Netherlands, this is one of the most important consequences of global warming. Nine million Dutch live in the coastal zone. Much of it is below current sea level.
In 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management launched the Sea Level Rise Knowledge Program, which contributes to research to provide a better estimate for future sea level rise on the Dutch coast. The Netherlands can thus be an example for water management in the 21st century.