Sunday, December 18, 2005

And now something completely different

How is it to live 6 meters below sealevel?
The above picture give you an idea what we are talking about.
The main idea is that you pump out the water faster than it oozes in.
To that extend we have 4 pumpstations.
One of them you see below.

As you can see it has four pumps.
The total capacity of one pumpstation is 2000 cubic meters per minute.
That's enough to keep our feets dry.
We have a mobile reserve of 5 times what is needed.
Each pumpstation has 3 sources of energy: gas, diesel and electricity.
The pumps are so well engineered that they haven't failed even one hour sinds they started to work in 1956.
The idea is that they keep working when you need them.

Our polder is surrounded by dikes.

Each dike has a height that it can withstand a combination of high water and a superstorm which can occur once per 4096 year.
If the dike leaks, you can put your thumb in it.
If the hole is less than 60 meters, you can put a ship in it.
I'm glad we have no hurricanes here. Otherwise the levees would be much higher.

I agree it hasn't much to do with chess, but maybe you find it interesting.


  1. Well, those folks down in New Orleans aint so thrilled about the levee system they had in place. I guess some engineers from your area are coming to show us Yanks how to build a dike now. I really don't think its such a good idea to rebuild New Orleans, being below sea level, on the coast, in the middle of hurricane alley aint such a good idea. I think I'm in the minority though. The big thing here is to rebuild it based on national pride. God forbid a bit of logic gets applied to the situation.

  2. That first picture is prety neat. That's a tight fit!

  3. The Dutch are good engineers, no doubt.

    Wanna rebuild New Orleans?
    1) First restore the wetlands.

    2) Then rebuild on a modest scale.

    3) Then realize that your fellow taxpayers aren't morally obligated
    to fund everyone's wishes of living in inordinately costly places ( like the moon, the bottom of the ocean, or below sea level in a hurricane zone.)

    4) Of course, politics has little to do with moral obligations!

  4. Your country is very beautiful. Thanks for the pictures.

  5. The situation of New Orleans is much like the disaster we had in 1953.
    Then the Americans came to have a look and said "why don't you go and live 150 miles from the coast?"
    The problem was that that's not our country anymore. . .
    Nobody lives below sealevel without good reason. I'm sure the same is true for New Orleans. There always is a disaster needed before people wake up and take the right measures.

    What is less known is that in 1953 there was another polder with a hole of 60 meter in one of it's levees. Over a million people were threatened. But there was a hero that put his ship in the hole so nothing bad happened.