Dutch Irrigation Engineers and Their (Post-) Colonial Irrigation Networks

  • Maurits W. Ertsen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


This chapter traces the career steps and decisions of Dutch irrigation engineer De Gruyter between 1920 and 1961 to discuss how the Dutch irrigation engineering network managed to emerge and continue by defining what its members considered ‘good practice’. Irrigation education in Delft permitted entrance to working practice. Only those working procedures that had proven themselves in actual irrigation practice became accepted solutions, both in colonial times and after 1945, when colonial irrigation knowledge was made into international expertise. This redefinition of colonial engineering allowed engineer De Gruyter and many of his colleagues to become active in the international field of irrigation and development.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water Resources ManagementDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

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