Room for River Project: Kerala Wants to Replicate

Room for River Project is a flagship project of the Dutch government. It is aimed at protecting the areas adjoining rivers from routine flooding and improving water management systems in delta regions.

Netherlands and Floods

The Netherlands located in the delta region of several major rivers like the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt has historically been prone to flooding of rivers due to its low elevation.

The rising water levels in the sea and the rivers due to the effects of climate change are one of the major challenges haunting the Netherlands. The initiative of  Room for River Project adopted or flood control have borne praise across the world.

About the Project

The ‘Room for the River’ project mainly aims to provide more space for the water body so that it can manage extraordinary high water levels during floods. The project involves tailor-made solutions for each river.

The measures undertaken under the project are

  • Lowering the flood plain,
  • Deepening the summer bed,
  • Strengthening of dykes,
  • Relocation of dykes,
  • Reducing the height of the groynes,
  • Increasing the depth of the side channels
  • Removing obstacles.

The project also involves improving the surroundings of the river banks through fountains and panoramic decks. The landscapes are designed in a way that they turn into natural sponges which can accommodate excess water during floods.

Adoption in Kerala

The major rivers in the state of Kerala empty out into Kuttanad. Kuttanad and adjoining regions in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts remained submerged for weeks during floods. Hence there’s a need for long-term comprehensive solutions on the lines of the Dutch project to prevent flooding in the region.

The government of Kerala is planning to replicate the Room for River Project and its foundational ideas in Kuttanad, the state’s rice bowl located below the sea-level.


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