Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LOWLANDS - Lessons From The Netherlands

"What the lowlands can teach the U.S. about warding off high water" PBS Newshour 10/29/2013


SUMMARY:  Superstorm Sandy showed U.S. coastal cities the damage water can do -- a threat the Dutch have lived with for centuries.  Their system of dams and dikes, locks and levees is keeping the Netherlands safe in a world with rising seas.  Miles O'Brien reports on what Americans can learn from the Dutch model of flood management.

GWEN IFILL (Newshour):  Now to the second installment of our look at what has and has not changed one year after superstorm Sandy blew ashore, taking 181 lives and damaging 650,000 homes.

Many of those affected are still trying to rebuild and to answer the question, are we doing enough to protect ourselves from floods?

In conjunction with NOVA, NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien traveled to the Netherlands for one answer.

MILES O’BRIEN (Newshour):  The Netherlands, the name says it all, the lowlands, built on a swampy delta.  Much of the country lies below sea level.  American Tracy Metz is an author and water management expert living in Amsterdam.

TRACY METZ, water management expert:  You really wonder why people settled here at all.  This must have been such an uninhabitable, inhospitable place.  It's a very soggy delta.

MILES O’BRIEN:  That's what these are for.  Windmills are essentially pumps.

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