The Dutch have been exceptional water engineers for centuries, a necessity in a country where more than a quarter of its territory lies below sea level. After a devastating flood in the early 1950s, the country embarked on a decades’ long endeavor to build the massive Delta Works that now protect a large portion of the population from oceanic storm surges that would otherwise flood the countryside.
As part of their efforts to instill resiliency both along the coast and upstream, the Netherlands has shifted dykes, created floodplain habitats, and built water storage into new buildings. With communities around the world at greater flood risk than ever as our climate changes, the Netherlands serves as a shining example of what’s possible with proper planning and investment. (Video and image credit: TED-Ed)