Global Warming: Miami Beach Asks Dutch for Tips on How to Live Below Sea Level
So, as you might have heard, Miami Beach is probably going to be underwater someday -- possibly within your lifetime.
The Dutch now have more sophisticated methods of flood control than the "finger in the dike" method.
Of course, as giant portion the Netherlands knows, just because you're living below sea level that doesn't mean you have to necessarily be living underwater. So it's smart thinking that Miami Beach officials are now asking Dutch officials for flooding tips.
The Netherlands literally translates to low countries because about 20 percent of its land lies below sea level (and 21 percent of its population lives there). Like Miami Beach, most of that land was previously made by man. Those lands survive because the country has an elaborate system of dikes, canals, and pumping stations that date back centuries.
Of course, one need not worry about rising sea levels to know that Miami Beach already has a pretty serious flooding situation. Heavy rains can leave parts of the island more than a foot underwater.
The city is preparing to spend $200 million or more to overhaul its flood water drainage system, and city officials meet yesterday with Dutch officials for pointers.
Though, the Dutch's flood control means don't come cheap. They're currently spending $3 billion themselves to overhaul an already sophisticated system. The Miami Herald points out that pursuing similar strategies in South Florida could run up to $10 billion to cover the tri-county area. The Netherlands' experiences also doesn't involved pesky things like hurricanes and spendthrift Republicans.