Essays on Dutch ways with water
Dr Henk Saeijs is the spiritual father and driving force behind the
modernization and 'ecologization' of watermanagement in the Netherlands
that took place in the last decades of the 20th century until now. In
these essays he presents his experiences and views. Many themes are being
dealt with in a challenging way. Myths and beliefs that politicians and
the general public have on for example salt water as undesirable,
reclaiming land, safety and sea defenses, fresh water and others, are
thoroughly being debunked. In stead of technology-driven solutions Saeijs
advocates the power and flexibility of Mother Nature, because after all
'she has over 3 billion years of experience'. All too often the downside
of technical solutions are neglected or underestimated; only much later
the (unpaid) bill comes along for untold quantities of polluted mud, the
diminished biological production of estuaries and so on. Fortunately,
there are positive trends emerging, especially where scientists and
engineers try to use and respect the resilience of ecosystems.
Turning the Tide is a stimulating collection of essays for anyone who is
interested in water and water management, certainly not only in The
Netherlands with its interesting coastal structure and its polders op to 7
meters below sea level, but even more so in a global context.
1 Water, blessed and cursed
2 From 'ego-pragmatism' to 'eco-pragmatism'
3 The Rijn: there's more to it than meets the boats
4 Polders, keep them or kill them?
5 Problems with a rain river
6 Is the sea worth its salt?
7 The delta: from excavation to well of knowledge
8 Being creative in a changing delta
9 Hidden assets
10 Back to mother nature
11 A water crisis casts its shadow
12 Change of course
13 Living with dams
15 Imaginable risks
16 Innovating safety
17 Is our delta an alma mater?