River restoration and geomorphology



The restoration or rehabilitation of rivers is currently an expanding area of investment by public water management bodies in the USA and EC. This position has developed from the rapid growth in environmental (and particularly water) awareness, the rise of accountability for environmental degradation within the legislative framework of water institutions and the move away from agricultural over-production towards sustainable development.

The restoration process has been pioneered primarily by aquatic ecologists and landscape designers working in conjunction with civil engineers. Geomorphology, the science of landform development, has much to offer, but at present the contributions are often superficial, concentrating on the scaling and siting of instream fluvial features. This paper argues that it is essential to incorporate the broader geomorpho-logical wisdom at the design stage so that restoration schemes will be sustainable in the longer term.