Deltares: US, Dutch Experts to Combine Expertise

US and Dutch land subsidence experts will share their knowledge during a one day seminar at Tulane University’s Levin-Bernick Center on November 22. Water boards, infrastructure officials, architects, policy makers, environmental law scientists, parish planners and other experts are invited to attend.

Land subsidence is a huge problem around the world. Not only does it increase the chances of flooding, it also damages infrastructure, buildings and homes. Low-lying cities share a common challenge: they have to manage subsidence – a slow lowering of their land level.

USA and the Netherlands: two examples of countries where land subsidence occurs

Subsidence is observed in many deltas around the world because they consist of soft soils deposited by rivers or the sea. Human occupation of these soils disturbs the natural balance and leads to subsidence. The Dutch Rhine-Meuse delta has one of the longest subsidence records in the world, when over 1,000 years ago drainage of peat lands in the delta caused large scale land subsidence. Over time, this resulted in a significant portion of the Netherlands to drop below sea level. For the Mississippi Delta, subsidence is believed to be one of the main causes of wetland loss. Areas within the City of New Orleans and in nearby coastal parishes, have areas that are rapidly subsiding. One of the most important causes of subsidence in New Orleans is the deep drainage of the organic-rich soft soils. The depressions in the southeast Louisiana landscape associated with such deep drainage experienced the longest inundations after Katrina.

Topics of the seminar are: the latest research, awareness and strategies

Seminar participants will get the latest insights on subsidence research and answers to questions such as: what are the causes of subsidence? How is subsidence measured? After the seminar participants will also be even more aware of how to deal with questions such as: who is institutionally responsible for subsidence? Who pays for the damage related to subsidence? At the end of the day strategies will be discussed on how to deal with subsidence: what can be done to mitigate it? How can we adapt using urban planning and design? The seminar is also an opportunity for participants to learn from each other by exchanging their own experiences.

Leading US and Dutch experts hold the key to cope with subsidence

The seminar brings together a variety of leading US and Dutch experts on subsidence and those holding the key to cope with subsidence. The Dutch institute Deltares has organized this event, in collaboration with US-based partners The Water Institute of the Gulf, Tulane University and Waggonner and Ball Architects. The Royal Netherlands Embassy is supporting this event.

Press Release, November 21, 2013


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