The Netherlands is a country in Northwestern Europe. It is located between Germany and Belgium, and across from the United Kingdom. The word “Nether” stands for “low” in the native language, so the name Netherlands means lowland. The reason why people give it this name is because the whole elevation of this country is so low that about 60 percent of its land is below the sea level. (Jonkman, 2018) There for, Dutch (which is the Netherlands people’s name) invented windmills to deal with the flooding problem hundreds years ago. The main purpose of windmills is for drainage.(The purpose, 2017) They pump the water out from the rainy or flooding by using the wind energy to redirect them in to right route in order to protect the agricultural field and residents.

Climate Change Risks

1. Flooding

  • sea level rise
  • increasing precipitation

2. Increasing temperature

  • longer warmer season for flowers to spread pollen


  • According to fifth IPCC report, using the RCP 8.5 model to predict the greenhouse gas emission in the twenty first century, at the end of the this century, the global sea level will rise about one meter which is about 3 foot. If the sea level goes up for 3 foot, Rotterdam will totally sleep under the sea.
  • The average elevation for Rotterdam is actually -4 meters (Elevation).
  • The Netherlands is estimated to have an increasing future flood loss for Amsterdam and Rotterdam in Netherlands (IPCC 2014).
  • Under an assessment model for the condition that one of the segments for protecting the urban area from flooding fail to block the water, there will be only 48 hours for water to invade about 40 percent of the whole city.(Jongejan, 2015)
  • The lower side in Rotterdam is the residential side, and the industrial side is higher than residential side in elevation.(Kimmelman, 2017)
  • South Holland province has a high population density, so it will increase the difficulty of evacuating the people in South Holland. (Jonkman, 2008)


  • Precipitation is increasing rapidly in the Netherland (Climate Change post).
  • In the past one hundred years, the mean annual precipitation increases for 25 percent (Climate Change post).
  • The extreme downpour in the summer is increasing, this means current solutions may not be enough to store or expel these rapidly increasing amount of water in the Rotterdam, because the low elevation for the whole city (Climate Change post).

Increasing temperature

Since 20th century the global temperature has risen about 0.8 degree Celsius, but in Netherland the number was 1.7 degree Celsius. (Nwanazia, 2018)

Longer warmer season for flowers to spread pollen

  • The pollen spreading season is longer than before, also the pollen concentration detected is higher than before. It means that the possibility of people inhale that pollen is slightly increasing, and also it will initiate more people’s asthma and respiration system disease. (Groenewoud, 2002)
  • - The data for Poaceae, Betula, and Quercus are three kinds of most frequently occurring types of pollen in Netherland. (Brunekreef, 2000)
  • - The pollen concentration is highly related to mortality. Cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Pneumonia are three main reasons of mortality during the pollen season. (Brunekreef, 2000)
  • - Also pollen can cause asthma and many kind of respiration system disease; if the patient cannot get appropriate treatment on time, they may die because of asphyxia and fatal symptoms. The symptoms caused by pollen will also let the patients feel tiredness, less ability to concentrate, headache, and some nose and eye symptoms. (Groenewoud, 2002)

Vulnerable group

  • Urban people
  • People who live near the river Rhine and Meuse
  • Minority people

Urban people

  • 82.9 percent of Dutch are urban people. (Lee) In order to contain this much urban population, the whole Netherlands is highly developed.
  • Extension of the city makes vegetation destroyed. (Lee) lower vegetated area means that lower penetration ability. The roads, buildings, and cities also block the way of flooding water to infiltrating into the soil, so urban people are more likely to face flooding problem when a heavy rain is coming. The roads, buildings, and cities also block the way of flooding water to infiltrating into the soil, so urban people are more likely to face flooding problem when a heavy rain is coming.
  • Most of the residents in Netherlands rely on dykes to protect them. (Dorothee, 2013) If dykes have some problems such as the water flood over the dyke’s height, or it is destroyed, the people who live near the dyke will be in great danger. It takes time for them to go to some place that is safe for them. 

People who live near the river Rhine and Meuse

  • As the increasing in the precipitation in Netherland, the discharge amount of river Rhine and Meuse will increase. (Bouwer, 2017)
  • River Rhine’s discharge amount will increase from 16000 to 18000 cube meter and for the river Meuse this amount is estimated increasing from 3800 to 4600 cube meter. If the river is overload, due to the large flooding area along the river, the evacuation for local people will be very hard. (Bouwer, 2017)

Minority people

Immigrants or those people do not from Dutch will have language or cultural barriers during the evacuation. (Kok, 2015) If they cannot receive the caution on time, their evacuation from flooding may become a problem.


  • Maeslantkering is located in downtown Rotterdam which is at the frontier to defense water from sea (Kimmelman, 2017). When the sea level rises above 3 meters from the city, this huge barrier will be activated, and blocks the water outside from the urban area (William, 2017).
  • The first step is to ranking the adaptation methods, and figures out which one is the best to mitigation the upcoming threat from flooding (K, de Bruin, 2009). There are several ways such as preparing more space for water, making existing and new cities robust, changing modes or transport to make it more resistance to flooding, and etc. For example, in Rotterdam, government builds many parks and stadium for emergency area to store the water (Kimmelman, 2017).


The whole South Holland province is influence by the climate change. Increasing temperature increases the pollen season and makes old people and young kids more vulnerable facing asthma and respirational system disease. Also, sea level rise and increasing precipitation brings more flooding into this country. Almost whole South Holland province is under the dangerous of flooding, especially the Rotterdam which has a low elevation and higher population density. If the flooding is coming, it takes more time for Rotterdam to evacuate people out from the city, and also it takes longer time for water to penetrate the ground or expelled from the city.


Bouwer, Laurens & Vellinga, Pier. (2007). On the Flood Risk in the Netherlands.



Brunekreef, B., Hoek, G., Fischer, P., & Spieksma, F. T. (2000). Relation between

airborne pollen concentrations and daily cardiovascular and respiratory-disease

mortality. The Lancet,355(9214), 1517-1518. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(00)02168-1


Climate change in Netherlands. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2019, from


Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. (2015).


Elevation of Rotterdam,Netherlands Elevation Map, Topo, Contour. (n.d.). Retrieved

March 1, 2019, from


Hippler, D. et al(2013) . Vulnerability of the Netherlands to global change, a case study, from


Horst, W. L., & Jongejan, R. B. (2015). The importance of domino effects in flood risk

assessments: A case study from the VNK2 project. International Journal of River Basin Management,13(3), 305-313. doi:10.1080/15715124.2014.1003303



Groenewoud, G. C., Jong, N. W., Burdorf, A., Groot, H. D., & Wyk, R. G. (2002).

Prevalence of occupational allergy to Chrysanthemum pollen in greenhouses in

the Netherlands. Allergy,57(9), 835-840. doi:10.1034/j.1398-9995.2002.23725.x


Jongejan, R. B., & Maaskant, B. (2015). Quantifying Flood Risks in the

Netherlands. Risk Analysis,35(2), 252-264. doi:10.1111/risa.12285


Jonkman, S. N., Kok, M. and Vrijling, J. K. (2008), Flood Risk Assessment in the

Netherlands: A Case Study for Dike Ring South Holland. Risk Analysis, 28: 1357-1374. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2008.01103.x


K, de Bruin, R. B. Dellink and et al.(2009, April 10) Adapting to climate change in The Netherlands: an inventory of climate adaptation options and ranking of alternatives. DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9576-4


Kimmelman, M., & Haner, J. (2017, June 15). The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising

Seas. The World Is Watching. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from


Koks, E., Jongman, B., Husby, T., & Botzen, W. (2015). Combining hazard, exposure

and social vulnerability to provide lessons for flood risk management. Environmental Science & Policy,47, 42-52. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.10.013


Lee, P., Wong, C., & Mun, R. (n.d.). Netherlands: Flooding and Impacts. Retrieved

  March 1, 2019, from


Nwanazia, C. (2018, August 21). The Effects of Climate Change in the Netherlands:

  What's Going to Happen? – DutchReview. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from


The purpose of windmills in the Netherlands. (2017, December 05). Retrieved March

1, 2019, from


William Earls, el.  FLOOD PREVENTION AND MOSE MOBILE FLOODGATES. (2017, March, 31).