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ESN Dutch Manscape Excursion: Water management in the Netherlands

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This excursion is organised by the UG’s Faculty of Spatial Sciences and starts at 8:30 and we will be back in Groningen at 19:30. Optionally you can leave the excursion in Amsterdam-IJburg at around 17:00.

The Netherlands is world famous for the ongoing ‘war’ with water. At present, not less than 60% of the population lives below sea level. Your stay in the Netherlands is not complete without experiencing the ways the Dutch people have protected themselves against the ‘Big Wet Enemy’ and have converted sea into land. Walk on the bottom of the former sea!

What is a dike? What are sleeping dikes? Why does the Zuyder Sea no longer exist? Why did the Dutch build cities on the bottom of the sea? Is it safe there?
What are those cute little man-made “hills” in Friesland for? Who made them? When? How can 60% of the population live below sea level? By the way, who are those daredevils living 4 to 5 metres below sea level? What will be the consequences of climate change for the Netherlands? Will cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam disappear into the sea? (and when will that happen?)

These and many other questions are the narratives of an excursion, offered to you by Chris Diederiks (tour guides Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen). The excursion focuses on old, new, and future ways of protection against (rising) sea levels and (rising) river water levels, as well as the creation of new land (land reclamation) – transforming water into land.

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