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Fish migration river Afsluitdijk

Using Technological Innovations to Reinforce Traditional Dikes

The Fish Migration River through the Afsluitdijk is an unique and ground-breaking nature restoration project project aimed at removing an obstacle for migratory fish. The participating parties want to give the fish the opportunity once again to reach their spawning areas and the areas in which they grow up and live. At the heart of the project is the construction of a new passage through the Afsluitdijk, embedded in a design that ensures a gradual transition from salt water to fresh water (and vice versa) and a natural structure.

More info:



Dealing with Risks

At fort Loevestein the Waal and the Meuse traditionally came together to proceed to the sea as the Merwede. It was always an important military point of castles, forts, fortified towns and fortresses. To give the river more space, the dike at Munnikenland will be relocated and a secondary channel will be constructed. New developed nature areas fit well with the botanical rich Bloemplaat and the grazed area of Loevestein.

More info:

dijkverbetering.waterschaprivierenland.nl (Dutch)

Eco concrete - IJmuiden

Developing Multifunctional Dikes

The breakwaters of the entrance of the North Sea Channel at IJmuiden (The Netherlands) protect the port against wave attack. The breakwaters consist of concrete blocks. The surface of the blocks, and cracks and spaces between these blocks are habitats for a diversity of marine flora and fauna like algae, insects, crabs and shellfish, fish and birds (including a red list species). Because of this, it is important that during and after renovation of breakwaters, the affected hard substrate habitats will recover quickly.

More info and other exampels of rich revetments:



Using Technological Innovations to Reinforce Traditional Dikes

Dike core blunging (mixed-in-place), dijkvernageling (the use of plastic or steel to reinforce the soil and enhance stability) and dijkdeuvels (expanding columns) are three new techniques that improve stability without claiming more of the physical environment. Such techniques make it possible to minimize the impact of dike reinforcement on the surroundings and to avoid adverse consequences. Thus, flood safety can be improved and the risk of a breach reduced while leaving dikes and buildings where they are.

Mounds overdiepse polder

Dealing with Risks

A metamorphosis is underway at the Overdiep polder where most of the farms will be relocated and rebuilt on man-made, raised areas (terps) along a new dyke. This will ensure flood protection and additional room for the river. Once the farms have been rebuilt on the ‘terps’, the dyke on the north side of the polder will be lowered. A new primary dyke to be built along the river Oude Maasje will be a mirror image of the current dyke on the north side of the polder. On average, water from the river will flow into the polder once every 25 years. This will lower the high water level in the Bergsche Maas river by some 27 centimetres in the Overdiep polder area, which will also have an impact on levels far upstream.

More info:

ruimtevoorderivier.nl (Dutch)

3Di water management

Dealing with Risks

3Di is a new versatile water management instrument that supports operational water management, calamity management and spatial planning design. The 3Di instrument is based on detailed hydraulic computations. The computations are extremely fast and therefore allow for interactive modelling on a touch-table and iPad. The 3Di user interface enables decision makers and civilians to visualize the impact of the proposed measures in various climate scenarios.

More info:


Room for the river Waal Nijmegen

Dealing with Risks

The climate in the world is constantly changing. As a result of this the rivers in the Netherlands have increasingly larger amounts of water to transport. In order to prevent flooding in the near future, the Dutch government is changing the course of more than 30 rivers throughout the country. These measures taken along the rivers IJssel, Lek, Maas and Waal are known as ‘Room for the River’.

In the case of Nijmegen, this involves moving the Waal dike in Lent and constructing an ancillary channel in the flood plains. This will create an island in the Waal and a unique urban river park with lots of possibilities for recreation, culture, water and nature. The solution is far-reaching, yet sustainable and safe.

More info:


© Municipality of Nijmegen – May 2004

FloodControl IJkdijk

Using Technological Innovations
to Reinforce Traditional Dikes

FloodControl IJkdijk is the innovative dike monitoring organisation for inspection and testing based on sensor systems. This development programme results in nationally and internationally marketable dike monitoring systems (smart levees). The smart application of the monitoring philosophy leads to significant cost savings and deferred investments for water management authorities both in the Netherlands and abroad. Stichting FloodControl IJkdijk anticipates that all Dutch water management authorities will be operating this philosophy and will be monitoring their dikes with innovative systems in cases where it is worth doing so.

More info:


Scheveningen boulevard

Multifunctional Dikes

Scheveningen is the largest seaside resort in the Netherlands. Thousands of people make their way to beachside cafés on the Scheveningen Bad boulevard, but it is also a primary flood defence structure. Between 2009 and 2014 this flood defence structure was reinforced with a (hidden) dike-in-boulevard, a hybrid flood defence structure consisting of a combination of a hard flood defence structure and soft elements. The hard flood defence structure is completely revetted with Basalton, a stone revetment that is more resistant to wave overtopping than the usual grass covering.

More info:


Research Dijkenatlas IJsselmonde

New Uses for Dike Relics

Most inhabitants of the island of IJsselmonde do not realize that they are actually living on an island. It is one of the most important islands in the Dutch delta, and as such almost entirely urbanized. Older structures are hard to distinguish from new developments. One of those structures is a refined network of dikes: the living proof of the emergence of the Dutch landscape.

More info:


Fort Werk aan 't Spoel

Investing in the Dike Network

Fort “Werk aan ‘t Spoel” is a national monument dating from 1794. As part of the NDW – a military defense line making use of intentional flooding – it served to protect one of the inundation locks. The municipality of Culemborg and Foundation Werk aan ‘t Spoel liked to see the derelict fort become a public attraction.

More info:


This page will be updated regularly with new examples. We welcome your suggestions!