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Integrated River Management

Rivers are dynamic natural systems. They offer important ecosystem functions to societies, but also pose risks: they supply freshwater, form waterways to the hinterland, allow energy production, support recreation, and have cultural and natural landscape values, but every now and then they cause flooding and disaster. To maximize their benefits and minimize the risks, most rivers have been trained by engineering works. They have been straight-jacketed to prevent flooding, to support shipping and dammed to store. Meanwhile, the discharge regime is changing due to climate change. This all calls for a new management strategy, which takes the natural hydrological and morphological dynamics as a basis and reconciles human utilization with natural behaviour and development. A major challenge is to achieve a new balance between the conflicting demands of the different land-use functions,

TU Delft Theme director
Martine RuttenĀ m.m.rutten@tudelft.nl