© Peter Leenen Straystone
Category:Fun facts about the Netherlands
Dutch Water Facts
The Netherlands is inextricably linked to the sea, dykes and dunes. Here are some facts about the Dutch coast and its dunes:
- 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.