Land subsidence research project in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Using technical knowledge better to save on maintenance cost
Predicting the impact to prevent damage
Land subsidence is causing more and more damage every year. It scarcely registers on the radar of many countries. In different areas around the globe, human activities are causing the land to subside faster than climate change is pushing up sea levels. Even so, the impact on coastal cities and peat areas is increasingly apparent. Levels of flood damage are rising and the risk of casualties is following. Land subsidence can also lead to major economic losses such as structural damage and high maintenance costs for roads, railways, dikes, pipes and buildings. The total damage worldwide costs several billion dollars a year. Good data, innovative techniques and the recognition of problems associated with land subsidence will be needed to arrive at solutions. Deltares is working with others on establishing a sound scientific basis for the world as a whole, providing access using forecasting and numerical models. In that way, we provide a picture of the consequences of land subsidence.
We will be making the switch from raising awareness to mitigation and adaptation. Sound information about land subsidence is an essential requirement for the Netherlands. Structural improvements are needed in the information about current and future soil movements in our country, and that information has to be accessible to third parties. That is why we are studying, and working on the acquisition of, high-quality data that will provide local solutions for land subsidence.