Interesting article on how extraction of water to drain peatland over many years is slowly sinking the Netherlands.
In 1953, the Netherlands experienced a flood that killed more than 1,800 people. That disaster led to the development of the Delta Works, a hugely successful series of national construction projects that created the world’s largest storm barrier.
“The problem is that we’ve been very good at adaptation to land subsidence,” says Erkens. “But all we’ve done is adaptation. We haven’t done any mitigation of land subsidence.”
Floods are catastrophic events that make the evening news and require government inquiries, but the slow drop of the ground level doesn’t draw the same attention. As a result, few people have been aware of the growing crisis, including Niezen, who didn’t give the subsidence problem much thought until she became an alderman.
But now more people are noticing. “Climate change was a game changer,” says van den Born.
Particularly pertinent now that Australia has experienced months of bushfires and our climate-change-denying Government is suddenly all talk about ‘adaptation’ and less enthusiastic about ‘mitigation.’