Governor Edwards Gets First-Hand Insight into Netherlands Flood Control Infrastructure Project and Research Center as Resilience Mission Heads to France

NETHERLANDS — Governor John Bel Edwards and more than a dozen Louisiana economic, coastal and business leaders will shift their quest for exportable water management information from Amsterdam to France on Tuesday, day three of a one-week mission in Europe. After traveling by high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris, the Governor will travel directly to the Luxembourg Palace to visit the 348 members of the French Senate, one of the two legislative chambers of the French Parliament.

The second leg of the mission follows a day-long fact-finding visit to flood control sites in three different regions of the Netherlands on Monday, which began 50 miles south of Amsterdam with a visit to the huge project to depolder Noorwaard in Werkendam. Polders are low-lying coastal or riverine areas that were once underwater but turned into dry land after the construction of dykes. The Noorwaard depolder was a key part of the Room for the River water management project that the Dutch launched in 2006 to protect coastal communities along the Rhine.

“This mission is a powerful reminder that the people of Louisiana are kindred spirits to the Dutch, who have embraced creative solutions to living with, rather than fighting against, water for generations,” Governor Edwards said. . “The Noorwaard depolder resembles similar projects in the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Seeing first-hand the positive impact of this years-long endeavor reaffirms our state’s visionary and long-term approach to the water challenges we face. How to apply the lessons of Room for the River to our own coastal programs will be the focus of follow-up discussions today and in the days to come.

Dr. Franz Klijn, a Dutch specialist in flood risk and water resources management, briefed the Room for the River delegation, which created nearly 20 miles of new dykes, 33 new bridges, 60 new hydraulic structures and 12 new pump stations at 34 different locations across the country.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from a group of people who are struggling with some of the same challenges we face every day, but it’s also a chance for other countries to learn of meaningful progress. that we have achieved over the past few years,” said CPRA President Chip Kline. “While the Dutch are known around the world for living with and managing water, Louisiana is increasingly seen as a world leader in managing and responding to climate change.”

From Noorwaard the delegation traveled to a World Heritage site at Kinderdijk, considered by many to be the birthplace of modern water management due to the innovations of the 19th century windmill and steam pumping station century who were born there. The delegation continued its exploratory trip to Delft, home to Deltares, a leading nonprofit water management consulting and research firm whose sprawling complex served as a model for Louisiana’s Water Campus in Baton. Red.

In Deltares, Governor Edwards met with Dutch Water Envoy Henk WJ Ovink to discuss ongoing collaboration on water management between Louisiana and the Netherlands. The delegation also saw a demonstration of the Delta Flume, the world’s most advanced wave testing facility capable of large-scale simulation of the effect of extreme waves on seawalls, levees, dunes, breaks -blades and offshore structures.

“We had a frank exchange of ideas and discussed the challenges facing both Louisiana and the Netherlands,” said Deltares hydraulic engineering manager Dirk-Jan Walstra. “As low lying deltas, climate change and sea level rise are having a huge impact on our regions. We were also proud to show Governor Edwards and the delegation the experimental facilities at Deltares, including the Delta Flume, and have emphasized the importance of using these alongside our software to provide sound advice to policy makers. We hope we can continue to share our knowledge and expertise together, learning from each other as we go. that we are deepening our collaboration with The Water Institute.

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