Twente has always had problems with ‘natural’ flooding. Furthermore, in the past few decades, there has been a great deal of construction of housing and roads, resulting in large areas with hard surfaces because of which rainwater cannot slowly seep into the ground. This is part of the reason why water flows very quickly into streams. However, the streams cannot cope, ultimately leading to flooding.
The Regge and Dinkel Water Board has done much to prevent flooding. With the exception of the Dinkel, flooding only occurs after extremely heavy rainfall. This is an important achievement.
Avoiding flooding or controlling the water level is no longer the only goal of the Water Board. For each new plan, the Water Board also considers factors such as:
- nature: is there room for natural banks; how can weirs be constructed so that they do not impede the movement of fish?
- recreation: how do we make the landscape attractive (also in the city); where do we lay pathways?
- environmental planning: does this water level fit in with a municipality’s plan to construct a new residential area?
In 1850 there were about 3500 Water Boards. Mergers soon reduced this number. Thera are now 26 Water Boards.