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River Meuse River Meuse

What

The Overdiepse Polder is located along the River Bergsche Maas (Meuse) in the province of Noord-Brabant in the southern part of the Netherlands. Around 1900 the River Meuse was given a new outlet to the sea by excavating the Bergsche Maas. Since then, the Polder is situated between the dykes of the Bergsche Maas and Oude Maasje, but only since the 1970’s the Polder is free from flooding. The Overdiepse Polder with its 550 hectares is mainly used for agricultural production.

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River Meuse

Why

In the 1990’s the Dutch river area suffered from extreme high waters twice. In 1995, the water level was so high that the dikes were in danger of being breached. Predictions from climate change and ongoing soil subsidence demonstrated the need for a new approach in flood protection in the Netherlands. In 2000, the old policy of raising dikes was abandoned in favour of the new policy ‘Room for the River’. The Spatial Planning Key Decision ‘Room for the River’ document of the Dutch government presents and integrated development plan with the main objectives of flood protection, master landscaping and improvement of environmental conditions. The National Programme ‘Room for the River’ includes 40 measures along the Dutch river area, of which the dyke-relocation at the Overdiepse Polder is one of them.

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River Meuse River Meuse

How

  • Construction of a new main dyke with a length of approximately 6 km and nine dwelling mounds
  • Transport of more than 1.0 million m3 of sand and clay, partly excavated within the project area
  • Adjustment of the water economy to the new situation
  • Removal of 17 farms and demolition of all present agricultural buildings
  • Nature development and implementation of recreational facilities, e.g. walking and cycling paths, information boards along routes

The measure of the so-called plan of mounds meaning dwelling mounds originated from the local residents and entrepreneurs. The province elaborates this unique plan together with local authorities and the local residents association.

  • The Polder area will be turned into a floodplain, to be flooded every 25 years.
  • The dyke relocation will reduce the flood level up to 30 cm locally and will have a significant effect further upstream.
  • The area between the new dyke and the Oude Maasje will be turned into an attractive nature area.

According to the National Programme ‘Room for the River’ the Overdiepse Polder will be transformed into an area with sustainable agricultural use and a better flood protection in which the dwelling mounds will appear as icons of the new Dutch policy ‘Living with water’ versus the old principle of ‘Fighting against water’.

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Ruimte voor de Rivier