- (The End of) The State of the Delta(and What Might Follow)
Especially after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Dutch hydraulic engineering and knowledge receive a lot of attention worldwide. Anticipating this, the Netherlands has designated engineering a ‘leading industry’: an industry sector that is invested in by the government in order to economically exploit it. As the Dutch have been living with water for centuries, engineering is in their genes, that is the idea. God created the world and the Dutch created the Netherlands. This cliché barely scratches the surface of the country’s complex history, as Han Meyer shows in his contribution. Only during the past century, large hydraulic engineering projects such as the Zuiderzee Works and the Delta Plan began to contribute to the formation of Dutch identity – more particularly, to the recognition that a nationstate was necessary for the design and execution of these projects. Ever since, the challenge the country faces is to not reduce the water issue to a technological challenge, but to approach it as a public matter.