Delft, The Netherlands — The Netherlands has a new hydraulic research facility. Ministers Schultz van Haegen (Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment) and Kamp (Ministry of Economic Affairs) opened the new Deltares Delta Flume in Delft. The Delta Flume will be the location for full-scale studies of the effects of extreme waves on dikes, dunes or breakwaters.

The Delta Flume is 300 meters long, 5 meters wide and 9.5 meters deep. The 10-meter-high wave board can simulate any wave pattern found at sea or in rivers: waves up to 5 meters high. Artificial waves of this height cannot be generated anywhere else on the planet. Research in the Delta Flume can save a lot of money, for example with regards to investments in flood protection.

Maarten Smits, the Managing Director of Deltares (, said, “Major sums are invested annually to reduce the risks associated with life in deltas. Those investments can sometimes be excessively high, or in the wrong locations. It would be fantastic to have a better idea in advance of the usefulness, necessity and effect of our investments. If we can manage to reduce them by even 10 percent, that is an enormous saving.”

International interest

The Netherlands is a global leader in the field of water management. The new research facility is expected to develop knowledge in which there is also intense international interest. The research results will help to develop solutions to complex climate challenges in delta areas throughout the world.

Minister Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and the Environment, said, “The Delta Flume shows that we have everything we need to be the planet’s testing ground. And there are benefits for everyone. We are leading the way with innovative solutions for our own water challenges. And we can supply other countries with the expertise we develop.”