A policy analysis of Dutch river dike improvements--trading off safety, cost, and environmental impacts

by Warren Walker, Allan Abrahamse, Joseph G. Bolten, Marjan den Braber, James P. Kahan, Matthijs Kok, Odette van de Riet


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This paper describes a portion of a study performed for the Dutch Minister of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management that examined the consequences of alternative policies for providing flood protection to the non-tidal branches of the Rijn and the Maas rivers in the Netherlands. It focuses on estimating the flood damage that would occur under alternative safety standards, estimating the financial costs of alternative dike improvement strategies, and estimating the damage that would be inflicted on the landscape, natural, and cultural values along the rivers under each of these strategies. The primary objective of this analysis was to identify policies that would provide a high level of safety, would not cost too much, and would preserve as much as possible of the existing landscape, natural, and cultural values along the rivers.

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