The barriers that protect the Netherlands

Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Its role is the practical execution of the public works and water management, including the construction and maintenance of waterway network and water systems, and flood protection and prevention in the Netherlands.

Rijkswaterstaat manages 249 kilometers of flood defenses, including dunes, dikes and dams, 93 lock complexes (with 153 locks), 17 pumping stations, 10 barrages and five storm surge barriers. The water boards manage approximately 90 percent of the primary flood barriers and Rijkswaterstaat approximately 10 percent. We also manage 480 kilometers of regional flood defenses alongside main canals. Here we show Rijkswaterstaat’s five big movable flood barriers, as well as the storm surge barrier managed by the Rivierenland water board. Together with the dikes behind them (see numbered dike rings) these structures protect large areas of the Netherlands against flooding.

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