Emma/Delta Outlet Systems

While learning about the Dutch way of interacting with/manipulating water sources and sea levels, I have been curious about how this specifically is done. I’m not familiar with engineering practices in regards to this concept, but I found these readings to be very helpful in assisting my curiosity and practical knowledge. Specifically, the explanation of how the outlet system, or the boezem, plays a role in the Delta landscape. It is used to pump water from one location at lower sea level to another location at higher sea level, with windmills assisting in the process to form freshwater reservoirs as a result of this system. The reading actually claimed that the Dutch in Rotterdam were more advanced in these techniques than the Romans, something I was surprised to learn given the emphasis that is given to the impressive Roman aqueducts throughout elementary learning. The Dutch use of wood instead of stone was interesting to me as well, given that stone seems more fortified but less malleable than wood.

Upon digging deeper, I realized that despite having seen visual representations of windmills countless times, I was never fully aware of their purpose or use, let alone their connection to the water system. I previously believed it was just a dated form of harnessing wind power, but now know what the power is being harnessed for.

These medieval systems are now used for recreational activities like boating, and are still recognized to be deeply cultural and impressive. In fact, many projects are underway to maintain and restore the structures thanks to private associations. Though they are less prevalent in the country, their presence still serves as a testament to the strength of Dutch innovation around water and land.

Photo citation: File:MolenVanafDijk.JPG. (2021, April 30). Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Retrieved 16:00, May 24, 2021 from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:MolenVanafDijk.JPG&oldid=556603932.

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