Dutch Water Facts

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Dutch Water Facts

Facts about the Dutch coast and its dunes.

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  • Almost a third of the Netherlands is situated below sea level.

  • The lowest point below sea level can be found in ‘Nieuwekerk aan den Ijssel’ and is 6,76 meter below sea level.

  • The highest point above sea level can be found at the tri-border area where the Netherlands meets Belgium and Germany. This point is 323 meter above sea level.

  • The Dutch coastline is 230 kilometers long and 75% is made out of dunes which can be a couple of kilometers wide.

  • The mainland is also very rich in water: 17% of the total surface consists of water.

  • The waterways are in total over 6,000 km long.

  • The Maas Lakes in Limburg are a 4,000 hectares mosaic of small and big lakes, locks and dykes, islands and forests, big towns and small villages.

  • The floods of 1953 were caused by 20 hours of north-westerly storm, which pushed the waters of the North Sea up to a height of 4.20 meters above Amsterdam ordnance zero.

  • During the floods of 1953  over 150,000 hectares were flooded and almost two thousand people lost their lives.

  • The Delta Works were designed after the floods of 1953 to protect the province of Zeeland and the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta.

  • The Delta Works are also known as the eighth wonder of the world.

  • Since the Delta Works protect the province of Zeeland it is estimated that the risk of flooding has been reduced to less than once every 4000 years.

  • The Delta Works used concrete with a 200-year guarantee and 45 meter wide steel doors.

  • The Wadden islands are unique in the world because of their intertidal zone. This means land is exposed to air during low tide and under water at high tide.

  • Texel is the biggest Wadden island. It has a larger population of sheep than people!

  • The oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands is found on the island Terschelling. It dates back to 1593 and is 180 ft tall. Its nickname is the Brandaris.

  • The highest and widest dunes in the Netherlands are found in the forestry area of Schoorl. At 177 ft, the Radar Dune is the highest dune in the Netherlands.