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Crown Prince Willem-Alexander extolls Dutch flood expertise

Visits U.S. agency

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WASHINGTON, DC - The Netherlands can play an important role in the future protection of Louisiana regions devastated by the recent hurricanes. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander recently extolled of the Dutch expertise in such matters during talks with top officers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Willem-Alexander said at talks at the headquarters of the Corps that the largest natural disaster in U.S. history has further strengthened the diplomatic ties, which have existed between both countries for centuries. The U.S. and the Netherlands can “depend on each other,” said the Prince, reminding his audience of the U.S. aid received during the February 1953 Flood in the Netherlands.

Speaking for the Corps, Brigadier General Bo Temple affirmed those statements and offered thanks to the Netherlands for the recent, swift emergency aid. Immediately after hurricane Katrina stuck the Gulf Coast, the Netherlands dispatched a Caribbean-stationed Navy frigate, three large pumps and a team of experts to Louisiana.

Return visits

The recent visit of the Crown Prince is part of a series of activities to promote to U.S. policy makers the Dutch private and government expertise in water management. The next step will be to send a Dutch trade mission to the U.S., while a number of U.S. Senators will visit the Netherlands shortly to view the massive Delta Works, built after the 1953 Flood. Dutch experts in turn will meet with Members of Congress and others, to testify in seminars on water management.

In Washington, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander also met with Admiral James Watkins, USN (Retired), the Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and with Dr. Jerry Delli Priscoli, the Chairman of the Institute for Water Resources.

Since 1998, the Dutch Crown Prince has been deeply involved in water management. Currently he is Chair of the Water Advisory Committee, which replaced the Integrated Water Management Commission. This independent body advises the Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management on the feasibility of water policy and its financial and social impact, doing so either in response to a specific request or of its own volition.