Flood control in the Netherlands
Flood control is an important issue for the Netherlands, as about two thirds of its area is vulnerable to flooding, while the country is among the most densely populated on Earth. Natural sand dunes and human-made dikes, dams and floodgates provide defense against storm surges from the sea. River dikes prevent flooding from water flowing into the country by the major rivers Rhine and Meuse, while a complicated system of drainage ditches, canals and pumping stations (historically: windmills) keep the low lying parts dry for habitation and agriculture. Water control boards are the independent local government bodies responsible for maintaining this system.In modern times, flood disasters coupled with technological developments have led to large construction works to reduce the influence of the sea and prevent future floods.