Sediment Problems and Strategies for their Management - Experience from several large river basins
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Sediment Problems and Strategies for their Management
Experience from several large river basins

Cheng Liu
Professor, International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation, Beijing, China

Desmond E. Walling
Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

Manfred Spreafico
Emeritus Professor, MS Consultancy, Herrenschwanden, Switzerland

Jayakumar Ramasamy
UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Hans Dencker Thulstrup
UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

Anil Mishra

UNESCO, Division of Water Sciences


The management of sediment in river basins and waterways has been an important issue for water managers throughout history. The changing nature of sediment issues has meant that water managers today face many complex technical and environmental challenges in relation to sediment management. UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) launched the International Sediment Initiative (ISI) in 2002. ISI addresses the wide-ranging social, economic and environmental impacts of erosion, sediment transport and sedimentation processes and aims to support the global agenda for sustainable integrated land and water resources management by promoting sound sediment management. Among other actions, ISI has endeavoured to collate and document international experience on sediment problems and their management through the compilation of a series of case studies representative of a broad range of physiographic and socio-economic conditions, which are made available as guidance for policy makers dealing with water and river basin management. Case studies prepared to date include the Nile River Basin, the Mississippi River Basin, the Rhine River Basin, the Volga River Basin, the Yellow River Basin, and the Haihe and Liaohe River Basins. Key experience relating to sediment management drawn from these river basin studies is briefly introduced in this paper, which aims to provide an accessible overview of sediment problems and sediment management around the world and present policy and strategy options to improve the sustainable management of such rivers. Key recommendations for developing management strategies presented in this paper have been extracted from these river case studies.


Keywords: sediment; sediment problems; sediment management; river basin; International Sediment Initiative (ISI)



Title: Sediment problems and strategies for their management: experience from several large river basins
Author: Liu, Cheng; Walling, Desmond E.; Spreafico, Manfred; Ramasamy, Jayakumar; Thulstrup, Hans Dencker; Mishra, Anil
Imprint: 2017
Publ Year: 2017
Collation: 15 p., illus.
Original Language:     EnglishThis publication is available in Open Access. Anyone is free to copy, use, distribute, transmit, and make derivative works in any format within certain constraints. See the Open Access Policy for UNESCO Publications.
Document code: SC-2017/WS/13
General notes: Incl. bibl.
Main descriptors: river basins; sedimentation; erosion; water resources management; case studies
Identifiers: IHP; ISI: International Sediment Initiative
Item available at: UNESCO Archives
AG 6 Series 4 English
On line: Yes
Licence Type:
ENG This license allows readers to share, copy, distribute, adapt and make commercial use of the work as long as it is attributed back to the author and distributed under this or a similar license. For more information, please see CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
Document Type: UNESCO document
Catalog Number: 258795
Source code: scw

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