On the 28th of February, the Dutch Ministry of Defense welcomed interested parties and the media for the first ever controlled breach initiation test using explosives in the Netherlands. They organised this test in cooperation with Waterschap Noorderzijlvest. Not only did they want to see the effect of using explosives on a levee with high water, just as important was gaining experience with the setup and use of this measure. 

"Using explosives for breach initiation is done for the very first time by the Dutch and it was very successful."

Marc Balemans, Ministry of Defence

“Today we literally ended the Polder2C’s project with a “bang”. We wanted to learn more about using explosives as an emergency measure in case of high-water. The explosives breach the levee. By choosing where to breach the levee, we can control draining excess water safely and for instance lead it to grassland rather than a populated area. This experiment shows what the impact is of the explosives on the levee, the development of the breaching and where the water will go. It is a unique test, done for the very first time by the Dutch and it was very successful today.” states Marc Balemans, Project officer Water Safety at the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

Breach Initiation Test filmed by drone - Credits: Ministry of Defence

The Breach Initiation Test was the final field activitiy of the Polder2C's project. As the Hedwige-Prosperpolder has already been depoldered, the Living Lab is no longer in use. Therefore, the involved partners looked for an alternative location. They found it in a military terrain in Marnewaard in the very North of the Netherlands. On this terrain the partners were able to conduct this test in a safe and controlled manner, in a safe testing zone with a constructed levee and a basin of water, specifically designed for this purpose.