The Institutional Evolution of the Dutch Water Board Model

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    The NETHERLANDS has a long history of water management.As early as the11th and 12th centuries, local communities started to organize to manage water systems and built dikes to protect against flooding from the sea and rivers. At that time, removal of peat for fuel and clay for building material was already causing land subsidence, necessitating additional measures such as building dikes. In the 15th century, land subsidence was so great that agricultural fields remained waterlogged for a large part of the year. More drastic measures were needed, and windmills were introduced to pump the extra water from the land. During the next century, windmills were also used to make new land available by draining the lakes that resulted from peat extraction. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, more windmills were built to pump water out of local collection canals, known as boezems, and into open waters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWater Policy in the Netherlands
    Subtitle of host publicationIntegrated Management in a Densely Populated Delta
    EditorsS. Reinhard, H. Fomer
    Place of PublicationWashington DC
    PublisherRFF Press (World Bank)
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)978-1933115733
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • METIS-258780

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