Most of the delta regions, such as the Netherlands, are not protected against rising seas

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Only 1 percent of dammed deltas, as in the Netherlands, are protected against sea level rise. Scientists report that in a new study looking for solutions to prevent the sinking of river deltas. The team, which includes geographers, sociologists and naturalists, has identified good methods already available to raise the lands of the delta.

In order to make the areas behind the embankments higher, sand and clay are fundamentally needed. But supplies of sand and mud from rivers are declining worldwide, according to the research team set up by Utrecht University. As a result, they no longer reach the delta regions “causing floods and land losses”. “Ideas have emerged in many countries to solve this problem, although it covers only a small area,” said lead researcher Jana Cox.

Even with small solutions, Cox says, Earth could stay dry better if sea level rose. The researchers looked at solutions that trap sand and clay in delta regions, causing the ground to lift in a natural way. Researchers have seen these types of solutions in, for example, the Netherlands, the United States, China and Bangladesh. By the way, the delta region in the Netherlands is already partially protected from sea level rise by dams, depending on how high sea level rises.

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“The Netherlands has a number of interesting ways to raise the profile of the country,” Irish Cox originally says. She has now lived in Utrecht for five years and specializes in the area around the Rhine and Meuse. “Here you have the sewage depots, for example. These two dams are next to each other. If you open the front bulkhead and let the water in from the river, the city behind it is still protected by the second pilgrim. After five or ten years, the land raises itself. Then, it can Use them again, for example, for animals for grazing or for farming.”

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She also saw such a solution in Bangladesh. “The residents there took the initiative to solve the problem. They themselves made a hole in the dam, through which water entered. Now this area can be used for agriculture again because of the sand and mud.” The research was published Thursday in the scientific journal Global and Planetary Change.

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