International Sediment Initiative (ISI)


Established in 2002, ISI is a new global initiative to assess erosion and sediment transport to marine, lake or reservoir environments aimed at the creation of a holistic approach for the remediation and conservation of surface waters, closely linking science with policy and management needs.

Sedimentation can have major negative sociological, economic and environmental effects on water resources management. Examples include the following:

  • reduction of reservoir capacity due to the interception of river solid transport
  • need for repeated dredging of waterways and ports
  • increase of flooding risk produced by the bed aggradation of piedmont rivers
  • potential collapse of structures along rivers subject to degradation
  • erosion of beaches near the mouth of rivers with sediment depletion
  • pollution of water bodies by sediment-borne contaminants.

Negative effects of sedimentation tend to become more and more relevant on a global scale due to population growth, the increasing vulnerability of many territories, and more severe climatic conditions, which facilitate soil erosion.

To address these issues, within IHP-VI ISI’s activities will be primarily focused on the following areas:

  • Global Evaluation of Sediment Transport (GEST)
  • case studies on erosion and sedimentation problems
  • up-to-date and thorough review of erosion and sedimentation research
  • advancement of education or sustainable sediment management
  • international cooperation and information exchange on erosion and sedimentation.
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