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World Water Day 2020 - about innovations, online events and a bit of history

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Alumni in Water, Energy and Climate

Thematic news

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03.22.2020

The Dutch have always had a special relationship with water and are globally seen as experts in this particular area. Because we are the ‘low countries’, water has always been a threat to us, be it the North Sea or the rivers such as the Rhine, Maas and Waal. But the Dutch have found a way to control the water and protect its citizens. Here are just a few examples: 

In the last century we completed the so-called Zuiderzee Works, which enclosed the Zuiderzee by building the so-called Afsluitdijk, creating the IJsselmeer. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Dutch reclaimed part of the land from the IJsselmeer and turned it into a new province: Flevoland. Flevoland now houses more than 400.000 inhabitants and is an important province.  

Disaster & Delta Works
In 1953, the Netherlands were struck by a terrible tragedy. Because of a spring tide and north-westerly storm, the Dutch provinces Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant were flooded when the dykes broke. An estimated of 1836 people died on the night of February 1st and the Dutch government vowed that this would never be repeaEastern Scheldt BarrierEastern Scheldt Barrierted. 20 days after the disaster, the Dutch minister of Transport and Waterworks installed the Delta Commission. This commission would be responsible for the implementation of flood control spread out through the provinces of Zeeland and Zuid-Holland. These works were completed in 1997 and compromised 14 construction projects, such as the Brouwersdam, Haringvlietdam and the Eastern Scheldt Barrier (oosterscheldekering in Dutch). The Delta Works have been admired worldwide and have even been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). 

Water conference - online!
The United Nations have declared the 22nd of March World Water Day. On this day, the UN wants to spread awareness about the importance of water in regard to climate change. Climate change is making water more scarce, unpredictable and essential all at the same time. Globally, events have been organised in order to spread this message and to teach people about the importance of water. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 crisis, many of these events cannot take place with a live audience and have been postponed and cancelled. Please visit this link to the website of the UN where they have gathered information on organising online events, and how you can spread the message of the importance of water!  

The International Water Association will organise an online event on the 22nd of March about the link between Water and Climate Change. The event will cover issues like water scarcity and access to water. You find more information on how to participate here.

Promotional post by WWD: Everyone has a role to playPromotional post of World Water Day - Everyone has a role to play

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