Thursday, May 26, 2011

Windmills, Barriers, and the Future

The Windmills of Kinderdijk
Early this morning, our group traveled to Kinderdijk - boasting original, working windmills! The beauty of these structures is only exceeded by their usefulness in the transport of water. We learned today that these windmills work in groups to raise water 1 meter at a time until sea level is reached. Although Archimedes Screws are used today, the windmills represent a lifelong battle against the ever present threat of flooding.

Futureland Construction

Futureland rivals even the Palm Islands in Dubai in terms of its total artificial land area. It is quite a sight to see, as it is nearing completion. The Port of Rotterdam is growing as one of the world's largest ports, and this project will open more doors for its continued success!

The largest moving object in the world lies in Rotterdam! Serving as an ever-present shield against rising waters, Maeslantkering is a moving barrier that can stop the flow of the Nieuwe Waterweg (new waterway) when it becomes a threat to downstream locations. Many other gates will shut, protecting tributaries of the main river, but this is the first line of defense against storm surges, excess precipitation, etc. Costing 450 million euro (in 1991 value euros), this barrier was very exciting to see and hopefully will never have to be used again!

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