Learning to Live with Water

If anyone knows how to deal with water it’s the Dutch and their dams. They’re famous for their sub-sea level cities. This problem of rising water is not contained to the Netherlands however. Here stateside, the city of New Orleans has had serious issues with keeping their city dry.

So when New Orleans began looking for solutions to their problem, the Dutch stepped up. Rather than working to keep the water at bay, they suggested working with the water and finding ways to incorporate it into the city planning of post-Katrina New Orleans.



The Dutch saw an opportunity to use their expertise to endear themselves to Americans and support a cause they hold dear: sustainability. They established themselves as experts in the field and as people who are willing to help those in need.

They also used this chance to create a stronger brand for their country. Americans don’t often think of the Dutch (except during the Winter Olympics when they dominate at speed skating), but by stepping up and establishing themselves as water experts, they have created a space for themselves on the world stage.

This soft power that they have created will only grow as we become more and more aware of the role water and its scarcity will play in the future of world politics.


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