From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Room for the River Project
Mains level : Flood control and management
- The Kerala CM after returning from the Netherlands tour spoke of incorporating the model for flood control in the state’s ‘Rebuild Kerala’ plan.
‘Room for the River’ Project
- The flagship project of the Dutch government is centered on protecting areas adjoining rivers from routine flooding and improving water management systems in delta regions.
- The basic premise of the Dutch project is essentially to provide more space for the water body so that it can manage extraordinary high water levels during floods.
- The project implemented at over 30 locations across the Netherlands and funded at a cost of 2.3 billion euros, involves tailor-made solutions for each river.
- Among the nine measures which define the project are lowering the flood plain, deepening the summer bed, strengthening of dykes, relocation of dykes, reducing the height of the groynes, increasing the depth of the side channels and removing obstacles.
- A key aspect of the project is also to improve the surroundings of the river banks through fountains and panoramic decks.
- The landscapes are altered in a way that they turn into natural sponges which can accommodate excess water during floods.
Why such move?
- Last year, Kerala had witnessed the century’s worst floods, which claimed nearly 500 lives and wiped out thousands of homes.
- The Netherlands has historically been prone to flooding of rivers due to its low elevation. Much of the country lies below the sea level.
- The country is located in the delta region of several major rivers like the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt.
- In fact, the rise of water levels in the sea and rivers due to the effects of climate change is one of the major challenges facing the Dutch.
- But over the years, the country’s expert water management techniques and creation of independent local government bodies for flood control have borne praise across the world.