The Netherlands Could Be Underwater, This Video Explains Why They're Not

The Netherlands is a low lying country that is vulnerable to storms and severe tides, so why isn't it continually underwater?
Jessica Miley

Why isn’t the Netherlands underwater? It is a great question considering the small but highly populated European country is largely made up of reclaimed land. The same question was consuming Brain McManus so he set about creating a video on his channel Real Engineering that would solve the puzzle. In short, the answer is a massive civil engineering project. But the long answer requires you to dedicate seven minutes to his very well researched video.

Source : Roberto Maldeno/FLICKR
Source : Roberto Maldeno/Flickr

The Netherlands learned the hard way about storm-proofing.  In early 1953 the Netherlands was hit by a ferocious storm that by its completion claimed the lives of 1835 people. After World War II many of the levees along the Dutch coast fell into poor condition. The country was still recovering from five years of German occupation that had ended just eight years before the storm. The devastating storm caused massive damage to many parts of the country that took decades to repair. Just twenty days after the storm the government formed the Delta Committee, a group of engineers, planners and scientists who were tasked to with job of ensuring this sort of damage would never happen again. The committee came up with a plan that would result in one of the seven modern wonders of the world, the Dutch Delta Works. This extraordinary piece of engineering not only protects the country from severe weather it also maintains sensitiveness to the environment that means the Dutch coast is still a thriving and healthy ecosystem.