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Netherlands: Geography

Geography Netherlands
Location:
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Geographic coordinates:
52 30 N, 5 45 E
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 41,526 sq km
water: 7,643 sq km
land: 33,883 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Land boundaries:
total: 1,027 km
border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km
Coastline:
451 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate:
temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Terrain:
mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Vaalserberg 322 m
Natural resources:
natural gas, petroleum, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 26.53%
other: 72.44% (1998 est.)
permanent crops: 1.03%
Irrigated land:
5,650 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
flooding
Environment - current issues:
water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Geography - note:
located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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