Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Dutch engineers can provide us with a model for flood defences

The Delta Works flood defences in Holland
The Delta Works flood defences in Holland

Despite the historical dangers of flooding, Holland is among the most densely populated countries on Earth.

The Dutch have always had a reputation for being hard working and serious about business, trading successfully with other nations and being credited with having invented capitalism.

They rarely take industrial action yet have been at the forefront of liberal thinking and legislation. They expect their citizens to behave properly and for the greater good of the community.

Not a bad aspiration and one that could benefit us greatly here in Ireland. Given their low lying territory, their systems of flood management are simply brilliant.

Apart from pumping, in events of high rainfall, water is allowed to flow in to dedicated floodplains which then enable it to drain away gradually.

Here in Ireland we appear to have built housing estates on many of our traditional floodplain areas with the inevitable consequences.

Perhaps the answer is to employ a team of Dutch engineers to provide us with a model for future flood defence.

If construction starts there will, of course, be protests and objections.

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