Turning the Tide. Essays on Dutch ways with water
Dr. Henk Saeijs is the spiritual father and driving force behind the modernization and "ecologization" of watermanagement in the Netherlands that took place in the last decades of the 20th century until now. In these essays he presents his experiences and views. Many themes are being dealt with in a challenging way. Myths and beliefs that politicians and the general public have on for example salt water as undesirable, reclaiming land, safety and sea defenses, fresh water and others, are thoroughly being debunked. In stead of technology-driven solutions Saeijs advocates the power and flexibility of Mother Nature, because after all "she has over 3 billion years of experience". All too often the downside of technical solutions are neglected or underestimated; only much later the (unpaid) bill comes along for untold quantities of polluted mud, the diminished biological production of estuaries and so on. Fortunately, there are positive trends emerging, especially where scientists and engineers try to use and respect the resilience of ecosystems.
Turning the Tide is a stimulating collection of essays for anyone who is interested in water and water management, certainly not only in The Netherlands with its interesting coastal structure and its polders op to 7 meters below sea level, but even more so in a global context.
Delft Academic Press / Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Watermanagement, 2008, softcover, 142 pages.