Floods and dredging - the water engineers view
Posted on February 14, 2014
WTT has supported and endorses the independent CIWEM report “Floods & Dredging — a reality check”. We’ve supplied case studies for the report’s authors based on our work in the field and the report makes specific reference to one of our videos showing the issues around river dredging: (click here to view)
We’ve been concerned that the clamour to dredge our rivers has had no basis on evidence or in science but has the potential to undo years of work in securing the adoption of effective and sustainable approaches to protecting communities from flooding. The report asserts that there may be situations where careful dredging can contribute to flood alleviation but also that there are many case studies and evidential reports that show clearly that dredging can often make flooding worse not better by accelerating the movement of water through the system. And of course, dredging can also lead to a number of other deleterious consequences such as severe bank erosion and ecological harm.
WTT’s focus, together with its many partners in government agencies, sister NGOs and community volunteer groups, has always been to improve habitat in rivers and lakes for wild trout and all the other organisms (including humans) that benefit from that improved habitat. In many cases, we are trying to undo the harm caused by channel modification, including dredging. We believe it is vital that we do not take retrograde steps in our management of the environment.
The report is available here.
The Press Release from the Blueprint for Water group is available here.