Why The Netherlands Isn’t Under Water

Why The Netherlands Isn’t Under Water

This episode of Real Engineering was brought
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the description will get a 2 month free trial. On a cold and stormy morning in January 1953,
the Princess Victoria ferry was preparing to leave its dock in Stranraer on the south-west
coast of Scotland, despite gale warnings. An hour into its journey its captain radioed
for help as the storm forced the ferry on its side, making it impossible to board the
lifeboats. Of the 176 people aboard the princess victoria,
only 43 survived, but there was more tragedy to come, this storm was headed south towards
the Netherlands, pushing the seas with it, and with the Moon and Sun causing even higher
tides, this storm would severely test the flood defences of the Netherlands, which was
still getting back on its feet after the Second World War. The storm would ultimately claim the lives
of 1,835 people in the Netherlands, along with 200,000 cattle and flooding 2,000 square
kilometres of land, destroying 43,000 homes forcing and 72,000 people to flee. Today, we are going to learn why this happened
and how it would spark the construction of one of the seven modern wonders of the world:
The Dutch Delta Works. After World War 2, the meandering levees on
the coast of the Netherlands had fallen into disrepair, the Netherlands were just getting
back onto their feet after 5 years German occupation just 8 years prior to the storm. The poorly maintained flood defences were
a disaster waiting to happen. As the storm approached, it forced water inlands
with no-where to go, but up. This put intense pressure on the dykes and
levees of the low countries, and by the storm’s end 139 kilometres of levees would be heavily
damaged, with holes up to 3.5 kilometres being torn open. With nearly 26% of the Netherlands land area
being under sea level, seawater burst through these breeches with immense strength causing
damage that would take decades to repair and would spur the formation of the Delta Committee
just 20 days later to ensure this could never happen again and this is what they came up
with. The new Delta plan would shorten the Dutch
coastline by 700 kilometres, by closing the primary inlets in these 4 locations, this
would drastically reduce the length of levees and dykes that needed to be inspected and
maintained and thus decreasing the chances of weak points jeopardising the safety of
the Dutch people. However this was no easy task and would come
with an enormous cost. Before these works could be completed, additional
barriers needed to be erected upstream to improve fresh and saltwater management, and
prevent fresh water emptying from the Rhine, Meuse and Schelde river from redirecting around
these new dams. The northern most closure dam also needed
to be equipped with a hydraulic sluice capable of dealing with the output of the Rhine river,
as this Fresh water would flood the Netherlands from the other direction, if it was prevented
from emptying into the North Sea. On top of all this, a number of ports, such
as the port of Rotterdam and the port of Antwerp, had to stay accessible. So, aside from fixed dams, bridges and sluices,
two new locks that would allow an inland ship route between Antwerp and Rotterdam needed
to be built. Amazingly, on top of all this work, the dutch
still managed to consider the environmental impact of this work. The largest of the structures built for the
Delta Works project, the Oosterschelde Storm Surge Barrier, was originally planned to completely
close the mouth of this river, which would create a fresh water basin. However resistance to this plan arose, as
it would completely change the saltwater environment of the area. The Oosterschelde scenery is unique, with
a great variety of fish, water plants and animals. So in 1976 the Dutch government agreed to
a different plan: Building an open barrier that could be closed during heavy storms and
high tides. adding another 2.5 billion euros to the cost
to the project. This barrier is 9 kilometres long with 62
openings, each 40 metres wide, allowing the tidal movement to remain in tact. To build a structure this massive, that needs
to not only support it’s own weight, but the enormous force of a storm surge pushing
against it, would require extensive foundations. The first part of these foundations were created
by forming two islands, the biggest of which housing a lock to allowing ships to pass through
the barrier. This island even included a massive dry dock
to construct the 65 pylons needed to support the sluice gates, each using 7,000 cubic metres
of concrete and taking one-and-a-half years to build. Between each island a trench was dug. On both sides of the trench, mats were placed
to keep the seabed in place. While specially built ships were then used
to consolidate the sand at the bottom of the trench, using special vibrating needles, the
sand would be vibrated to pack the sand firmly together creating a surface that could carry
the weight of the massive pylons. The trench itself was then covered with specially
made mats filled with rocks to help prevent erosion of the underlying sand. The pylons were left hollow so they could
be picked up by another purpose-built, u-shaped ship, and moved into place. There, inside the trench, on top of the mats,
they would be lowered, filled with sand and closed with concrete. The wide foot of each pylon was packed in
stone, as it is vital the pylons never move, because if even one of the massive, 260 to
480 tonne doors, cannot move, the current in that location could become enormous and
potentially damage the structure. Finally these enormous hydraulic pistons were
attached to the sluice gates, allowing 3 kilometres of the 9 kilometre long Storm Surge Barrier
to open and close on demand. This project truly is one of the modern wonders
of the world. Allowing the dutch to rule the tide and ensure
the chances of another devastating flood are dramatically reduced, but with sea levels
continuing to rise and warmers seas causing even stronger storms, we need to remind ourselves
of the lessons learned here. The flooding of New Orleans in 2005 occurred
for many of the same reasons as the 1953 flooding of the Netherlands. Poorly maintained levees broke well below
their design tolerances, allowing 80% of the city to be flooded in just 5 hours. Had New Orleans taken lessons from history
and reduced the length of defences needed, as they have done now with the 1.1 billion
dollar Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, they may have saved of over 1000 people and prevented
the 108 billion dollars of damage the storm caused. If these trends continue cities around the
world are going to have to seriously assess the risk of flooding and make plans to prevent
any chance of a flood taking the lives of their citizens. So you may admired some of the footage in
this video, it’s not the first I have travelled to a location to get footage, but it is the
first time I have really felt prepared because I finally learned the necessary skills to
use my equipment like a professional from Skillshare. I learned all the technical terms and settings
to set up still shots of the storm surge barrier. I learned how to get cinematic shots with
my drone and I learned how to apply the correct colour corrections too. Skillshare is simply the best place on the
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skill to gain. As usual, thank you for watching and thank
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100 thoughts on “Why The Netherlands Isn’t Under Water

  1. Dutch governments, the enemy for the peoples for decades are ONLY looking for MONEY.
    Were the kings of seas to rob, steal exploit……
    Looking for new money making models: sea is there, worth nothing. Some dyke arround..say 100 milion other peoples money anyway, and can sell it for trilions……they socialize the money away for votes, power and more money for many public money addicive co-parasiting friends….running out of money they discovered a bubble of natural gas…..in the need to dpfeed ALL exploding political publicmoney addictive psupychopath friends and family they sold it more quickly to Italy for a stupidest low price EVER as we could even burn it……now the gas is empty and going to the next public moneymaking model and the enemy of the peoples found one AGAIN: Fake climat change……good for 1000 bilion otherpeoples money…….Since Netherlands is SO stupid to build below sea level, and they did for a quick buck, that government should be shot at the time putting you're peoples at risk. Bad leadership and stealing other peoples labour = socialisme……and socialisme is ALWAYS short of oetherpeoples money ………

  2. Just found your channel today due to @wendover productions. I love your videos which are a bit longer! Keep the good work up bud – you have any donations methods? @realengineering

  3. I am prety sure this huge hidraulic gates ,will not help you anymore ,soon almost the see countries will be underwater ,the earth climate will change more in the next years ,all the permafrost ice will be melted and will does cover five procent from all the world land .Milions of people will die, do not make some future planes guys ,definitely God do not like us anymore !

  4. One of the engineers actually warned the US years prior that this could happen. He even quiet accurately predicted where the defenses would fail first and what could be done to prevent it. They contacted the Dutch after the disaster to improve their flood defenses.

  5. The netherlands location is at a river delta from the past.

    Therefore people pay so much tax to the government.

    All extra cost to pay.

    So no the netherlands is getting too expensive for your average joe.

    The government is a hoax also

    No one can pay for the new program of the prime minister Mark Rutte.

    It is just stupid not to get gas from Russia. Because gazprom has the sales price of 1m3 gas for only €0,09
    Which is really good.

    Germany is going to use natural gas for heating up the house and cooking etc.

    And the netherlands want to go to new kinds of energy.
    Because the project to get pipelines from iran were cancelled due to the syria war.
    Assad didnt want these lines crossing syria.

    So what do you want?
    Another war with Russia?

    Or get gas from Russia and dont put up the dutch civillians with even more taxes on nothing.
    Rediculous this man.

  6. It feels like you're trying to spit out this script btw classes – slow down buddy, this presentation makes one feel anxious it's so rushed.

  7. The sea doesn't dare to mess with us, because if the sea would dare, we wil will bury the sea under alot of ground, just like we do with dead humans!

  8. 2:58 You know the fucking burgers would not have given any thought t the environment. Europe > USA in every way. I'm australian

  9. China: We built a wall that can be seen from the space
    Netherlands: We built a wall that can save us from flooding

  10. Its so funny how people always say: The sea is rising, Holland will be under water. LOL We already ARE under water. If there was 1 country that could handle it it would be Holland. In fact I'd rather suspect this rising sea level will be big bussiness for Holland since many countries would ask for their expertise. Except Norway of course. They will first invent the wheel themselves and fail, try again and fail and then maybe, just maybe they mannage to put their pride aside and ask for help..

  11. Crap! So huge money, which they provided to the Nederlands, could give much more for hundreds millions people in poor countries. In spite of that, the Nederlands have got their incredible debt.

  12. Too many borders with no different nations in europe. Maybe holland should not exist as country, but as some kind of provence/land of germany. Same for danmark and luxembourg. Belgium to france.
    Anyway that part of territory which is artificial keep dry, will be flooded and back to the sea soon. They keep struggle to keep very low agriculture from the eastern europe, but when those country will get some non-traitors peoples in their goverments, those expenses keeping land dry in holland.. will make no sense.

  13. Hoe de FAQ kan het dat video's over andere landen 99% door mensen die niet van het zelfde land afkomstig zijn worden bekeken, en dat vids over NL 1000% door wij zelf wordt bekeken?????

  14. This is just a really cool video. By the end you really brought it all back, and it was just really interesting, and i enjoyed every minute of it. I love this channel

  15. Modern human can not make a superstructure like great pyramid of Giza, because it was made by aliens!

    Dutch: hold my beer!

  16. Ok, here is an insight into the mind of a keen audiovisual learner for all these YouTube channels dwelling on these extremely complicated topics: Your narrators talk with the speed of the light. I can catch about 90% what they are saying but process about 20% of it. Linked speech is one thing and overly long, extremely short-spaced speech is whole another thing. You are showering us with humongous amount of information but not letting it sink in. As a result, I end up watching hundreds of videos about hundreds of different topics but can't learn anything!

  17. I wonder WHY there was NO publicity for this ENORMOUS achievement in press and TV?
    WOW. GREAT thing brothers. I salute you, Netherlands. Great.

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