Climate Change Slammed The Netherlands with Drought


The dried out harbor of a river off the Rhine River. Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons Licence. (Tom Jutte)

Isabella Trull, Writer

For years the Netherlands struggled with swampy marshlands that they attempted to drain. Now they struggle with a drought caused by the constant attempts to drain the country and climate change. The country does not have space for structures such as reservoirs and has been more creative in its ideas for solving its water problems. Officials and farmers have started remaking the land and wave-shaped outlines are being carved to catch otherwise lost rainwater. Brooks and streams are gaining bends to slow down the flowing water. Farmers are creating shallower drainage ditches which in turn lowers the amount of water taken from the ground.

Unfortunately, farmers have been greatly affected by the drought and have had band placed on the amount of water they can use. These bans make it hard for farmers to mass produce agricultural goods and many times they have been caught breaking the rules to help their crops.

A flat farm in the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr under the Creative common licence

While some of the Netherlands’ drought is due to the choices of Dutch water management, much of the drought is due to the growing issue of climate change. Climate change is an issue that forces countries like the Netherlands to deal with both extremes of having too little and too much water. The earth is getting hotter and more water sources are drying up because of it.

In the Netherlands, the Rhine River which is a major source of fresh water for the country has had large amounts of decrease in water levels. With less freshwater running through the Rhine the North Sea begins traveling down it and puts the water supply for people at risk.

Not only are the rivers drying up, but algae are formed by heat waves that pummel Europe and affect the water quality. The quantity of problems that could arise from the Dutch failure to control the effects of climate change is high. If the Netherlands doesn’t act soon and boldly they could end up losing the battle against climate change. Climate change is one of the largest problems today and can truly damage an area and diminish a country.

Rhine River low water levels. Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons Licence (Tom Jutte)