‘Damage due to flood could rise up to 14 billion euros', Minister takes a visit to basin of the Maas
140 million euros the plan to keep citizens, living in the area of the Maas between Lith and Ravenstein, safe against floods, according to the Province and Water Authority Aa and Maas. For this reason, and with the hope The Hague will pay half of the costs, yesterday afternoon a visit of Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water to the dikes of the Maas was on the program.
Climate changes seem to cause more and more extreme weather conditions in the area of the Maas between the provinces North-Brabant and Limburg. Dike lord of Aa and Maas, Lambert Verheijen, says against omroepbrabant.nl the following about this: "The extremes seem to increase more and more or the water level is very high which can lead to a flood, or the river barely contains any water which leads to problems in the traffic of container ships.
Lambert Verheijen: “There live almost 270,000 people that van be affected by a flood, the damage can rise up to 14 billion euros.”
Although current water levels are not critical at the moment, the damage with for example a flood, can almost not be foreseen. "It is really important to get the safety at the right level", emphasizes Verheijen. “There live almost 270,000 people that van be affected by a flood, the damage can rise up to 14 billion euros.”
The plan that was presented yesterday to the Minister has as most important component to return the Maas to its "old form". This briefly means that the river banks will be dug out to create more space for the water. "If we do not do that , than we would have to lift the dikes by one meter. With this plan that is 50 centimeter", says Verheijen.
In 2016 the government already pledged an amount of 400 million euro to invest in the problems at hand, although it still remains unknown how this money will be divided. Against Omroep Brabant van Nieuwenhuizen also does not make any statements concerning the topic, but she does say she acknowledges the problems: "Heavy rain that was forecasted some time ago for 2050, is already here. So we also need to take measurements now, and make sure we are ready for the future." Still the Minister does not want to make any commitments: "I first need to know which plans are on the table. It is until than that I know how to put the money to good use."