Tuesday, 24 June 2008

W for Water, Wind and Windmills...

 
 
 

Posted by Picasa

Click to enlarge.

Here we can see how a windmill works. The water from the polder is pumped away in a large reservoir and from there it will be pumped into the river. During the war, when there was no electricity, all the wind mills of Kinderdijk were used. Long ago the miller and his family lived in his mill. On the picture of the groundfloor we can see the small living space of the miller's family.

In the Netherlands, the drainage system is an important matter. The Dutch need a well developed water control system in order to keep large areas from being flooded, because some parts of the Netherlands are below sea level.


The problems with water became more and more apparent in the 13th century. Large canals, called 'weteringen', were dug to get rid of the excess water in the polders. However, the drained soil started setting, while the level of the river rose due to the river's sand deposits. After a few centuries, an additional way to keep the polders dry was required.

It was decided to build a series of windmills, with a limited capacity to bridge water level differences, but just able to pump water into a reservoir at an intermediate level between the soil in the polder and the river; the reservoir could be pumped out into the river by other windmills whenever the river level was low enough; the river level has both seasonal and tidal variations.

Full control over the water level was never achieved. Throughout the centuries, the residents of the western part of the Netherlands suffered inundations, especially because of dyke ruptures; this is reflected the legend of the floating cradle at Kinderdijk ..

Look at http://mrsnesbittsplace.blogspot.com/ for other great posts

45 comments:

Petunia said...

Windmill! That is so great! They are very beautiful buildings:)
This is a very nice post!

Petunia's ABC

Abraham Lincoln said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog Brookville Daily Photo this morning. I hope you enjoyed my post today showing the honey bee and the hollyhock flower.

I saw a special last night about the disappearance of honey bees and it is sad to think that most of the fruit, nuts and vegetables we eat would disappear with them. So governments are busy trying to find the culprit before it is too late and one huge problem is the use of insecticides.

Anyway, I wanted you to know I was here to repay your visit and comment with one of my own. Kind of like "Kilroy" was here... remember those drawings everyone used to make?

I enjoyed reading your blog post for today and I thought the photography was good too.

I am so glad to see the inside of the wind mill. I also like the working drawings of one. It mans a lot more to me who has not seen one in person to be able to see a photo of one. I saw a real one on TV once and was stunned at how large it was.

I do care much about our environment, Wil. I started environmental magazines back in the 1960s and 1970s but nobody back then was even interested. I could not get advertising support and the only subscribers I could get were college professors and people somehow related to the environment in their work. So like a lot of other things I was there too early and left. There is a big void in green education and what people can do to conserve.

Pee twice and flush once would save half of all the water in the world used to flush urine down the toilet. Imagine that.

Old Lady Lincoln said...

This may sound like a dumb question to you, but did all windmills have people living in them?

The living quarters looks very nice and homey

Texas Travelers said...

Really nice post on windmills. Our are different here in the States.

Thanks for sharing.

There is a windmill in the masthead of our blog. It has seen it's better days.

Our "W's" are big today.
Come visit,
Troy and Martha

Picturing of Life said...

ah...how can i forget about windmills :D we had a lots of windmills in here. great post

Please visit mine also in here Thanks

Juliana RW said...

fab post of w theme

Mine in here at My Imaginary Travels. Thanks

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Wind power is just NOW gaining in importance here in Canada. The Netherlands is way ahead of the rest of the world with this idea. Would you believe the governent of my Canadian province (Ontario) is STILL planning to build a natural gas plant to produce electricity? How behind the times can you get!

me ann my camera said...

Your post is really very informative and interesting.

Janice Thomson said...

This was fascinating Wil - I always wondered how windmills worked . Thank you so much for this detailed info.
Excellent choice for W.

Jerez said...

I was wondering what that green room was, it reminded me of a houseboat.. but whoa.,a windmilll, cozy, very cozy...

Aileni said...

What a brilliant post for 'W'. I was too hurried with mine just before going to bed last night. I will probably make some additions.

Gary said...

I love windmills. Wish we could see more of them in our countryside.

Great choice for ABC Wednesday.
Gary
Bodge's Bulletin

Louis la Vache said...

Perfect trio of "W"s for a Dutch blog!

"Louis" noticed your comment at Briene-le-Château about Wolfgang. The Germans have a saying, sometimes attributed to the Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth: "When God in heaven commands his angels to play music for him, the always play Bach. But when they play just for themselves, they play Mozart.

Over at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo, "Louis" invites you to step right up to the Wheel of Life!

RuneE said...

Very interesting indeed. I have been to the Netherlands a couple of times and seen both the canals and the windmills. I amazed how much of an knife's edge you are really living on.

We are now to get our first "modern windmills" on a large scale - those that make electricity

Hyde DP said...

the wonderful dutch windmill - thanks for an excellent post with all the explanation of the workings of windmills.

Now we have wind turbines - some new ones 30 miles away are suddenly visible from our upstairs windows!

babooshka said...

This is a fascinating post. Always liked windmills and how good are they fro the environment Appreciate the woek that went into the post. Excellent w.

Kelly said...

Wow! I loved reading your post! We actually have a working windmill in Geneva, but I never really thought much about how it works. Thank you for the information! My daughter will be in the Netherlands for a few days this weekend! I think she will love reading this!

Denise said...

We hope to be capturing some Dutch scenes over the next few days! LOL!

TSannie said...

I had the great good fortune to stay in the Netherlands for two weeks with friends of our family. It was many many years ago and for the LIFE of me, I can't remember the name of the town. I saw much of your lovely country and loved it all!

Someday I'd like to return and take one of the boat trips around your canals.

Such a neat W post! And thank you for visiting me!

P.S. - the two oddest (for a teenaged American, at least) foods I enjoyed were your fabulous "French fries", tho I know their not called that, that were served in newspaper with mayonnaise. And then there were your lovely smoked eels. Strange but tasty!

Mental P Mama said...

We need more windmills in this world...

granmal said...

Great choice - I think Windmills are beautiful. We don't see many of them here.

Gordon said...

I love the look of your Dutch windmills. Thanks for the illustrated explanation of how they work and the important role they play.

Dragonstar said...

Thank you so much for the diagrams and the descriptions. They make it so much easier to understand how the windmill pumps worked. Also, the photo of the interior really shows what it must have been like to live there.

AphotoAday said...

How intersting! (and educational)

Indrani said...

This will make an excellent study material for students. Good informative post.

Suburbia said...

you are certainly in the right place for W's!

zetor said...

Very interesting post.Thanks for sharing

Jules said...

I had always thought windmills were so peaceful...after reading your blog I see how powerful they can be as well...Thank you for your visit!

Powell River Books said...

I am sure it was tight, but the Miller's quarters really look quaint. Thanks for visiting my blog and my W is for woodpecker pictures. -- Margy

Bear Naked said...

Wonderful W post.
Thank you for the explanation of how a windmill works. And thank you also for visiting my blog.

Brian said...

I would love to come to the Netherlands and photograph Windmills the angles and the light the blades would give would be fantastic, loved the way you have told us about them, thank you.

Thank you also for you kind comments on my W submission.

Brian

Elizabeth said...

So glad to have discovered you blog - via
Mrs.Nesbitt's 'w' day.
what a fascinating life you have led!
I will try to read more of your blog and keep in touch.
I'm English but now live in New York - just spent 2 years in Morocco.

Liz said...

That's a very small space for a family to live in.

Is there any truth in the story of the boy putting his finger in the dyke to stop the flood?

CrazyCath said...

As I have commented on the previous post - I love this choice for W. Thank you for the information on how it works too.

John said...

Meget flott og informasjonsrik W post. Ser at du skriver litt på norsk så da valgte jeg det jeg også.
Ha en fin dag i morgen.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

Very nice and interesting choice for W! Well done:)

Andrea said...

I posted a windmill a good while back but did not even think about windmill for my "W" Good choice.

leslie said...

Well, windmills would be de rigeur for anyone from the Netherlands to do for a W-day. Very interesting commentary. Thanks for dropping by.

Dina said...

This made me realize how little I knew about windmills. They move water?! And to live in one--how cool is that!?
Thanks so much for this detailed lesson, Teacher Wil.
Today I posted the Jerusalem windmill especially for you.

Nydia said...

What a cool and nice blog you have! It was great to know how a windmill works - I'm the kind of person who oves knownig hw stuff works, trivias, etc. - the tiny living room is cute. Thaks for sopping by at my W post as well.
Kisses from Nydia.

Alan said...

Windmills are almost a given for your post. :) But I think those of us who don't see them every day are always happy to see them on the blogs.

Daryl said...

And wonderful ... which is what your post and photos are!

:-Daryl

kml said...

Love your windmills - beautiful!!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I marked this down to visit when doing Sky Watch... I found this post very interesting andwill read up more now on your water systems.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I marked this down to visit when doing Sky Watch... I found this post very interesting andwill read up more now on your water systems.