First 331 words of the document:
Case study: creating more space: reclamation and drainage. The Zuider Zee
Scheme, Netherlands p111
Why did the Netherlands need more space?
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. More space
was needed for homes, industry and farmland in order to house and feed a growing
population. The country was also in short of fresh water and had a coastline vulnerable
How did they reclaim land from the sea?
The solution was the Zuider Zee Scheme in the northwest of the country. The plan was to
reclaim and drain five large polders. A polder is an area of land reclaimed from the sea. In
1932 the enclosing dam across the Waddenzee was completed. The barrier allowed a large
freshwater lake, the IJsselmeer, to be created improving the supply of fresh water. A road
was built on the top of the dam which improved communications to the north of the country.
Once the barrier was complete, work began on constructing the polders. A ring dyke was
built around the area to be reclaimed, with a ring canal on the top. At first windmills were
used to drain the sea water from inside the dyke. Later diesel and electric pumps did this
work. The water pumped into the ring canal which emptied into the sea. Drainage was put in
to remove excess water, and salt loving plants were grown to reduce the salt content in the
soils. Large applications of fertilizer and constant pumping to remove water allowed the
polders to be used for agriculture after about 10 years.
Was the scheme successful?
At first the polders were used for farming, but more of the space on later polders is used for
homes and recreation. The Ease Flevoland polder in particular has a new town called
Lelystad, and this polder acts as an overspill for Amsterdam.