The Netherlands (02:31)
Rising sea levels threaten the Netherlands' management of its waterways. To survive, the country is adapting its relationship with water.
Canals in Amsterdam (03:11)
Despite the many positives, the canals pose a flood threat to the city. A system of locks and pumps prevents flooding, but the city now sits below sea level.
Dutch Coasts (05:07)
The coastlines are reinforced with dykes and sand since a quarter of the country is below sea level. Worried erosion, coastal engineer Marcel Stive builds the sand motor. It creates a natural way for the ocean to distribute more sand to the coastlines.
Dutch Dykes (04:39)
In 1953, a storm flood hit The Netherlands and killed 1,800 people. Dykes have been commonplace ever since, but changing seas have put the dykes' usefulness into question.
Eastern Scheldt (03:54)
The storm surge barrier changed the current, harming the ecosystem and the coastline. Scientist Tom Ysebaert worries about the shrinkage of the sandbanks. He introduces an artificial reef and oysters to help hold the sandbanks together.
Dutch Polders (04:55)
A system of pumps, ditches, dykes, and canals throughout the countryside has created polders. The land, once covered by swamps, has sagged below sea level.
Flooding the Polders (05:54)
Two massive floods hit the polders in the 1990s. In response, the Dutch government and farmers created a plan to raise the farms and use controlled flooding.
Flood Protection (05:43)
In some parts of the country, the Dutch government bought land from farmers so it could be permanently flooded to prevent floods elsewhere. The program was unpopular with many multigenerational farmers.
New Dutch Ecosystems (05:34)
The ecosystems of the flooded polders have changed. The Dutch Parks Service manages the ecosystems; some rare species have thrived.
Rainwater in Rotterdam (05:06)
Heavy rainwater has posed a threat to Rotterdam in recent years. Water plazas and rooftop farms are used to hold rainwater without overworking the drainage system.
Dutch Floating Buildings (05:41)
Floating buildings and homes have become a way to adapt to rising sea levels. Mooring for floating houses is easier to find than residential land.
Credits: "The Netherlands: The Pact with Water" (00:28)
Credits: "The Netherlands: The Pact with Water"
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