Living with the water

Fighting or moving with it?

Over the centuries, dealing with water required great decisiveness and enterprise. Between the 11th and 16th centuries, Zeeland and Flanders were hit by countless storm surges. Lost land was re diked if possible, but sometimes shortly afterwards it was swallowed by the sea. Sometimes the inhabitants of the Scheldt estuary were themselves partly to blame for the disasters. Neglected dikes and subsidence due to marsh drainage increased the danger. Some floods were caused by poor drainage due to the silting up of rivers and canals. In addition, the increase of reclaimed land from the twelfth century caused the water to have less space. Many times land was also inundated for military reasons (see story line Contested area).

 

Koudekerksche Inlaag - Verdronken dorp

Protecting?

The first people to settle on the still unimproved land behind the sand barriers and in the Scheldt Valley did so on the higher ground. They are sometimes still recognizable by farms and village centers located higher in the landscape. In Roman times, people built dikes to protect themselves from the water. From the tenth century on, relatively densely populated areas in the salt marshes were also protected with dikes and open creeks were dammed up. As the population increased, it became necessary to protect larger areas.

 

Kolk lakes and creeks

After floods, welen and creeks remained as "scars" in the landscape. When a dike was breached, a round and deep sinkhole (weel or wiel) was created, around which a new dike was often built. Many creeks in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and Meetjesland are also remnants of floods, including military inundations. Other creeks are a remnant of original tidal creeks.

 

Sigma Plan

From the end of the nineteenth century, the level of high water in the Scheldt increased more strongly, partly due to large-scale reclamation and the construction of the Kreekrakdam, which closed the connection between the Eastern and Western Scheldt. To deal with floods, "pot polders" were constructed along the Durme in 1930, also part of the Sigma Plan.

 

Kruibeke - Sluis waterval

Delta Works

The 1953 flood disaster ushered in the Delta Works. A technical tour de force that, due to the decades it took to complete, itself became the reflection of changing technical and ecological insights. Dikes were raised to the height of the Delta, dams closed off estuaries and the Eastern Scheldt was given a barrier that only had to be closed during storm surges.

 

Moving?

The Scheldt estuary remains in constant flux. At this time, global warming and sea level rise require new solutions. Lessons from the past and natural processes can help us with this (see also storyline Climate Living Lab).

 

Discover and experience

The 1953 flood disaster is the subject of the Flood Museum in Ouwerkerk. The Plompe Toren of drowned Koudekerke on the south coast of Schouwen is an iconic landmark. The sea dike at Westkapelle is considered a hydraulic icon. On the south coast of Schouwen and the north coast of Noord-Beveland, inlagen are stringing together. The Zak van Zuid-Beveland is dotted with kolk lakes. An illustrative combination of an elevated village center and farms can be found in the village of Kloetinge and the nearby farmstead Tervaeten. In Bornem, remnants of the Nethof farmstead and the Pastoor Huveneersheuvel recall the medieval settlement of Nattenhaasdonk. Hildernisse, at the foot of the Brabant Escarpment, is the last flood farm in the Netherlands, although it no longer serves as such due to construction of the Markiezaatskade. The Eastern Scheldt barrier can be visited via Deltapark Neeltje Jans. The waterfalls of Kruibeke, part of the Sigma Plan, are a tourist attraction at high tide. Polders throughout the area house numerous locks and other hydraulic works.

 

Type
Koudekerksche Inlaag - Verdronken dorp

Activiteit in Meetjesland en Leven met het water

Zierikzee
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Wandelaars

Avontuurlijke tocht door Zuid-Beveland

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Bezoekers kijken met een verrekijker over de Oosterschelde tijdens de boottocht

Boottocht op de Oosterschelde

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Bezoekers kijken met een verrekijker over de Oosterschelde tijdens de boottocht

Boottocht op de Oosterschelde

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Damse Vaart

Damse Vaart

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Damse Vaart

Damse Vaart

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Deltawerken - Oosterscheldekering

Delta Works & Neeltje Jans

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Deltawerken - Oosterscheldekering

Deltawerken & Neeltje Jans

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Zeelandbrug

Eastern Scheldt National Park

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Bezoekers in de modder tijdens een excursie in het Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe

Excursie in het Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe

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Droge voeten door de Mozesbrug bij Fort De Roovere

Fort de Roovere

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Droge voeten door de Mozesbrug bij Fort De Roovere

Fort de Roovere

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Uitkijktoren Fort Henricus

Fort Henricus

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Uitkijktoren Fort Henricus

Fort Henricus

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Luchtfoto Fort Liefkenshoek

Fort Liefkenshoek

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Luchtfoto Fort Liefkenshoek

Fort Liefkenshoek

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Luchtfoto Fort Pinssen

Fort Pinssen

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Luchtfoto Fort Pinssen

Fort Pinssen

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De Getijdenmolen in Rupelmonde

Getijdenmolen Rupelmonde

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Watersnoodhuis

Het Watersnoodhuis

Stavenisse
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Watersnoodhuis

Het Watersnoodhuis

Stavenisse
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Bezoeker bekijkt expositie in Historisch Museum De Bevelanden

Historisch Museum De Bevelanden

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Bezoeker bekijkt expositie in Historisch Museum De Bevelanden

Historisch Museum De Bevelanden

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Wandelaars door de schorren van Sint-Annaland in Tholen Geopark Schelde Delta

Laarzentocht op de schorren van Sint-Annaland

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Lapscheurse Gat

Lapscheurse Gat

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Lapscheurse Gat

Lapscheurse Gat

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Moerspuische Watergang

Moerspuische Watergang

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Moerspuische Watergang

Moerspuische Watergang

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Museum Hulst

Museum Hulst

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Voorkant van museum Hulst

Museum Hulst

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Museum Markiezenhof

Museum Markiezenhof

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Museum Markiezenhof

Museum Markiezenhof

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Zeelandbrug

Nationaal Park Oosterschelde

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Ingang van het OosterscheldeMuseum in Yerseke

OosterscheldeMuseum

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Ingang van het OosterscheldeMuseum in Yerseke

OosterscheldeMuseum

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Bezoekers wandelen langs de getijdgeul Hammen in de gemeente Schouwen, Oosterschelde

Oosterscheldeweek

Oosterschelde
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Mensen aan de Plompe Toren

Plompe Toren

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Mensen aan de Plompe Toren

Plompe Toren

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Polderhuis Westkapelle

Polderhuis Westkapelle

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Polderhuis Westkapelle

Polderhuis Westkapelle

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Sas bij Bornem (afwateringssluis)

Sas bij Bornem

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Sas bij Bornem (afwateringssluis)

Sas near Bornem

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Museum voor Natuur en Landschap Terra Maris

Terra Maris

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Museum voor Natuur en Landschap Terra Maris

Terra Maris

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De Getijdenmolen in Rupelmonde

Tidal mill Rupelmonde

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Watersnoodmuseum

Waternsoodmuseum - Flood museum

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Watersnoodmuseum

Watersnoodmuseum

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Twee zeehonden staren je aan vanop de Platen van Ossenisse

Zeehonden spotten

Schelde
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