- The dams first closed off the Dutch: Zuiderzee, (Southern Sea) and turned it into a lake called the Ĳsselmeer.
- Land reclamation meant building more dams and pumping out the water inside. The new land is called a polder.
Polders make new land for agriculture and make flood protection better, because the lake is smaller.
Plans for the works date back to the 1600s, but it was not until a very bad flood in 1916, that the Dutch parliament finally agreed to pay for the works.
First some dams or dykes were built to separate the Zuiderzee from the North Sea. The biggest was the Afsluitdijk ('closure dyke'). It is 32 kilometres (19.9 mi) long. When it was finished in 1932, the Zuiderzee was completely dammed off and from then on would be called the IJsselmeer.
There are gates and sluices, at the ends of the Afsluitdijk. The gates, called locks, can be opened to let ships through. The sluices let water out of the IJsselmeer. If there were no sluices the lake would fill up and flood the countryside. This is because it is always being filled with water from rivers and from the polders which are still being drained.
Other pages[change | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Afsluitdijk|
Other websites[change | edit source]
- Nieuw Land Poldermuseum–A Flevoland museum on the Zuiderzee Works and Dutch water management in general.
- The Zuiderzee Museum–Dedicated to the history and culture of the former Zuiderzee.
- Directorate IJsselmeer Region–The administration responsible for maintaining most of the Zuiderzee Works.