The Netherlands and water; they are inextricably linked. Behind the coast with the protective dunes, there is a landscape of water ditches, waterways, canals, ponds, lakes and rivers.
Almost a third of the Netherlands is below sea level. The Dutch always had to get the water under control with mills, pumping stations, polders and dikes. Later they worked with waterworks such as the Afsluitdijk and the Delta Works. Ultimately, this resulted in a country that owes not only its beauty, but also its wealth to the water.
This complex infrastructure is the result of an age-old collaboration between citizens, governments and businesses. The water boards play an important role in water management in the Netherlands. The first, still operating, water board was established in Leiden in 1255. All residents of the Netherlands pay a water board tax and participate in decisions by voting in water board elections. New technologies such as the wind-water mill for water level control and the mud mills for the prevention of the siltation of the waterways, played a major role in the development of the country. Around 1800, Hydraulic engineering became a fully-fledged specialism at universities, with subjects such as: hydrostatics and mathematics to dry docks, suction pumps and the spoon dredger.
Protection against water used to be the responsibility of the local communities, under the motto, those on the dike must also maintain it. Contractors were called in for this and eventually specialized hydraulic engineers and dredgers such as Royal Boskalis and Van Oord were created. Together with knowledge institutions such as Deltares and engineering firms these companies are the frontrunners when it comes to hydraulic engineering, water management and water protection. Iconic examples are the Palm Islands in Dubai, the Maeslantkering and Delta Works in the Netherlands or the storm surge protection in New York and New Orleans.
Middle Point has built up a solid position in finding suitable personnel for these industries. Middle Point is a partner for permanent and project-based work for dredgers, offshore contractors, water boards and engineering firms. Take a look at our vacancies for the most current selection of positions for the Dutch market.