Local Government Profile
Hazard and vulnerability profile
Dordrecht is located in a single dike ring area, designed to withstand a once in 2000 years water level. The dike ring area Island of Dordrecht is identified as one of the most risky areas in the Netherlands. If flooding would occur water depths may rise, within 9 hours, up to 1.5 to 3.0 meters. The flood extent depends on where the dike breaches. If a breach occurs in the east, then the entire city may become inundated, resulting in 5 billion euro damage, 100000 affected persons and 500 fatalities. The City is unlikely to recover and re-establish its function after such a flood. Flood hazards for Dordrecht are characterized by a short lead and warning time. Residents who cannot evacuate themselves or who are not properly informed and warned are most vulnerable to such events. The city’s poor would have difficulties to adapt and rebound after a flood.
Disaster Risk Reduction Activities
In the Netherlands, the central government, water boards, provinces and municipalities are working together on a new Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management. This is the implementation element of the Dutch Delta Programme and it comprises a cohesive set of measures for specific regions, including the Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden region. The Delta Plan programmes measures for the short term (up to 2028), but also looks ahead to the medium term (up to 2050).
In the context of the sub programme Rhine Estuary Drechtsteden, Dordrecht has developed a multi-layer safety strategy to meet the future tasking for flood risk. This strategy puts greater emphasis on limiting the consequences of floods through spatial planning (layer 2) and emergency management (layer 3), in addition to protection from floods through dikes (layer 1). In some specific case, measures in layer 2 and 3 are combined with protection measures in order to achieve the required level of flood protection.
If the protection levels are going to be based in part on measures in layers 2 and 3, then it is essential to guarantee that they will actually provide the required protection. To this end, the central government and the regional partners (water board, province, municipality and safety region) have initiated a Multi-year Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport (MIRT) study into the added value of and the possibilities for (safeguarding) measures in layer 2 and 3. The MIRT study will also look for a better connection between flood risk management and spatial planning and further develop the opportunities for mainstreaming adaptation and for spatial-economic development.
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