Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are you afraid of living below the sea level ?

It's shaking to I think I am writing this sitting 5 meters below sea level right now and my efforts to learn swimming are going in vein! But question is for a change consider I am a good swimmer, and the need arises, how much will it help me !!

But thanks to the precautions taken, learning from past flood history of the country, and thanks to this project "Delta Works", I don't see the fact of having ocean as a neighbour and leaving below sea level bothering me too much to live here !

Last year after moving here, my boss in my last job (yeah same I wrote about here) included a few lines as below in his e-mail to me...
"Holland has implemented very innovative ideas for protecting the land from Sea as the Sea is higher than land at many places. The country is also one of the largest exporters of dried milk powder etc."

I knew what he was talking about and so much I wanted to know more about it too ... yes I am talking about "Delta Works".

It was on our list to visit as Ashu had already been there and me being an engineer (That’s how people perceive it, though the fact that I never worked totally on technical side), he thought I will like to visit it. But just that fact that how people recognize this project made me more curious to visit the place as soon as possible! After all I didn't want to reply negatively to people asking me whether I visited it or not, living in the country!

So we decided to visit Delta Park . It was such a nice time learning and knowing so many things about this project and history of this project. It is a nice place to visit once while you live here.

The day turned out quite memorable in other aspects too considering we were new here, hardly understood a word in Dutch, we had to take so many public transport connections to reach there (to be precise we had change 6 connections to reach and 6 on the way back so 12 in the total) and it took 3 hours 32 minutes each way so about seven hours. We were so tired on the way back that we both fell asleep on bus and only woke up when bus-driver spotted us in the empty bus at last stop ! (Fortunately, it was the last stop where we were suppose to take other connection, so lucky we, didn't have to travel back )

Something about Delta works... If you tell me that you live in Netherlands and don't know what I am talking about... arrr....ummm....hhhhh.... I am speechless! Dutch are proud of this project and they have a reason for it.

It's the engineering excellence which this small country has achieved, with about 27% of its area and 60% of its population located below sea level, to protect itself from sea and floods.
After the North Sea flood of 1953 destroyed 4500 buildings, drowned 10,000 animals and killed 1835 people, the Netherlands began work on the world's largest flood protection project,
Delta Works (Dutch: Deltawerken).
According to the Discovery Channel 15% of the total budget for the Delta Works was spent on fundamental research. Today Delta Works consists of over 16,500 kilometers of dams, 300 structures and 1,650 sq. km. of reclaimed land... (Wikipedia Page)

You can find the details, history and some interesting fact about the project on many websites, I have noted down a few ...
Delta Works
Water Land
Discover the Netherlands
Modern Holland

Wondering how suddenly it is on my mind today? Because we are planning to visit it again with some visitors. And I hope this time it will not be that tiring as we won't have to take 6 different connections to reach there!


Anonymous said...

hey this delta works project is very informative... :)

Droomvla said...

I was there a few years ago, and I was totally impressed. Some work, don't you agree?

dipali said...

ya i heard abt it from u whern u visited last time.i ll give a go if a come to netherland.neways enjoy ur trip again.

thamarai said...

Interesting post! I haven't visited this being an 'engineer' as well, I might like it too..;)...Have a good time with your visitors!

Unknown said...

Very good post! And informative :-)

Yesterday, while I was on the road somewhere between Nijkerk & Almere, I looked at the navigation while sitting in the passenger seat of the car and only noticed the fact we were 11 meters below sea level. I looked up at the trees lining the road and thought to myself, "The tops of those trees could very well be where the sea level would begin..." Amazing what the Dutch have done :-)

~ Lopa said...

@ Hetal
Thanks, so you can imagine how imformative visiting it would be ! ;o)

@ Droomvla
Yeah, cannot agree more on that. So much of research and so many years of efforts !!

You have got a good memory ;o) Thanks :o)

~ Lopa said...


Yes, i think you will like it. But it is interesting how the term "engineer" is generalised and a wide perception built around it, anything a little technical and so called engineer is suppose to like it irrespective of whether its civil, electrical, mechanical, electronics.... etc etc ;o) lol

@A Touch of Dutch

Totally.... You would not believe but sometime when i am sitting in my home i think same that right now I am 5 mtr below sea level, so this ground floor will go in water, may be second floor too, so may be i will have to sit on terrace if flood comes and its not that forceful that break down / damage houses !
Aaah I am crazy !

thamarai said...

Ya!! seriously.every time some equipment would break down, my dad would be like you are an engineer you should repair it!!! if...;)

~ Lopa said...

@ thamarai

ya i know... from repairing fan to repairing computer, from understanding the electrical connections to understanding technical civil drawings ;)

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