The United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Directorate General Rijkswaterstaat of the Netherlands signed an agreement yesterday to promote information exchange and research, development, testing and evaluation projects in water-related areas between the two countries.
The agreement was signed in The Hague by the Honorable John P. Woodley, Jr., the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and Bert Keijts, Director General of Rijkswaterstaat. US Ambassador to the Netherlands, Clifford M. Sobel also was present at the ceremony.
"Both Dutch and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers experts believe there's much to be learned from each other in the fields of flood control and water resources management," said Woodley. "I'm proud to have the opportunity to help advance cooperation between our two world-renowned water resource organizations."
Both organizations are more than 200 years old and have developed much knowledge on the development of water related infrastructure. Because of the geological structure in the Netherlands, the cooperation will focus primarily on soft soil engineering in alluvial water saturated dense populated flat areas, such as the coastal zone of Louisiana, the Mississippi basin in its middle and lower reaches, Chesapeake Bay area and the Everglades.
Some of the many areas covered by the agreement include flood control and flood plain management; water resources management; policies on integrated water management; dredging; inland- and coastal navigation; economic evaluation of policies on water management; environmental protection and restoration; salt water intrusion; and coastal zone management.
"This is an important agreement and we're looking forward to working closely with the experts from our Dutch counterpart," said Fred Caver, Deputy Director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who was also present at the signing. "We're leaving behind a technical team which will begin the real work of implementing this agreement."