River restoration: Part 1 – What you should do

The Geography and Environment postgraduate blog

River restoration was recently described to me as being more of an art than a science. Well, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it is a somewhat subjective practice. That isn’t to say we can’t lay down some guidelines. What should we always try and do when we’re doing river restoration?

DO engage stakeholders: a large element of river restoration work involves educating people about the way in which our watercourses would naturally function. Additionally, by including different people you can better appreciate the multitude of concerns likely to arise from your planned works. An increasing number of projects are involving volunteers, which is both instructive and cost-effective.

DO get expert opinions: Try and get as much independent, expert advice as possible. People’s notions of what constitutes good river restoration may be distorted through experience, training or personal bias. It’s only in the last decade or so that applied fluvial geomorphology…

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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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One Response to River restoration: Part 1 – What you should do

  1. lenrosen4 says:

    To describe river restoration as more art than science is far off the mark. Humans just as beavers have been reshaping water courses ever since both species settled by them. Dams have served our technological civilization when we build them. Beavers on the other hand tend to enhance the habitats in which they build dams, of course, unless you are human living nearby one of them. We could learn something from the beaver’s approach. Today the conflict between those trying to harness rivers for energy and those attempting to restore them to a more natural state cuts across national boundaries and serves as a source of potential conflict. Ethiopia is building a dam on the Blue Nile that will impact water flow to the Sudan and Egypt. China is building dams on the Brahmaputra that will impact river flow and the farms of India and Bangladesh. There is no art here, just artifice and energy greed. In some countries dams are being dismantled to allow natural river flow to resume with the hope that habitat restoration will follow. There is a lot of science behind such initiatives. With alternatives to dams as a renewable source of energy, plugging up rivers to drive turbines should be a much lower priority for nations searching for more energy in the coming decades. The biodiversity of our planet is already shaken to the core by the human species. If you are interested in reading more on humans and rivers please visit my blog site at http://www.21stcentech.com. Type in “rivers” in the search window and comment on what you read. Here is one example: http://www.21stcentech.com/climate-change-impact-major-rivers-asia/.

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