29.08.2019 -

Local solutions for the impact of erosion and sedimentation

Erosion and sedimentation as phenomena that have direct impact on ecosystems and the possibility of generating local solutions was the focus of training instances for professionals in the water sector, legislators and decision makers held in Ecuador. The workshops had a big amount of participants. Workshops were named “Quantitative estimation of water erosion and proposals for measures and public policies for the correction of the phenomenon” and “The problem of erosion and sedimentation; an approach from research, public and private technical management and public policies ”at the headquarters of SENAGUA in Quito, August 27-29, 2019. Both activities were organized by SENAGUA together with the International Hydrological Program (IHP) of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean through its International Sediment Initiative (ISI-LAC) and the UNESCO Chair in Surface Hydrology of the Technological Center of Environmental Hydrology (CTHA) of the University of Talca.

The erosion phenomenon, closely linked to the downstream sedimentation of the soil particles removed and deposited in areas that may have productive, touristic, or environmental interest, generates unquantified economic and social effects. It is not only the phenomenon of erosion that is present with its implications of lower soil fertility and reduced productive capacity, but it is directly related to another problems such as sedimentation, which reduces water conduction capacity of irrigation channels; affects the quality of the water due to the greater turbidity; it involves a change in the characteristics of aquatic ecosystems; it modifies the riverbed generating a lower capacity to drive the floods, thereby increasing the possibility of flooding with the risk of loss of human life; increases the possibility of mismatching the strains of bridges and the foundations of high-cost civil works; etc. Therefore, a major problem must be addressed from a national perspective and for the purpose of comprehensive resolution of a problem that affects many people and many productive sectors.

In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, erosion and sedimentation do not occupy a significant place in the field of research and productive orientations do not change in such a way that a solution to the problem can be given. Within this framework, the National Secretariat of Water together with the International Hydrological Program (PHI) of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean through its International Sediment Initiative (ISI-LAC) and the UNESCO Chair in Hydrology of Surface of the Technological Center of Environmental Hydrology (CTHA) of the University of Talca promote the training of professionals of the water sector and decision makers through the workshops “Quantitative estimation of water erosion and proposals of measures and public policies for the correction of the phenomenon” and “The problem of erosion and sedimentation; an approach from research, public and private technical management and public policies” with the objective of strengthening and raising awareness about the impacts of these processes, in addition to promoting the exchange of information and monitoring of the problem.

The workshops were attended by 44 professional participants from various provinces and public services and private companies and 32 legislators, directors and technicians from the water sector. In the role of instructors, the event had the honorable presence of the academics of the Technological Center of Environmental Hydrology of the University of Talca, and of the UNESCO Chair in Surface Hydrology, Roberto Pizarro and Claudia Sangüesa.




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