Water, Sewage & Effluent May-June 2017 - Page 21

These mitigation measures can potentially minimise future impacts and counteract years of urban development. Magic of modelling Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2017 By working with highly regarded experts such as Professor Gerrit Basson of Stellenbosch University, SRK Consulting uses complex modelling techniques to devise river rehabilitation measures. By developing a hydrodynamic river model, current and future river instability and erosion issues can be determined; also, long-term changes in the river morphology can be predicted. The modelling helps engineers to quantify problems and to identify sustainable solutions — reducing potential liability claims on municipalities and even loss of life. Among the innovations pursued by SRK is the application of 3-D visualisation models to the field of river rehabilitation and management. The 3-D visualisation can be used in this new context to assist stakeholders like municipal managers and members of the public to understand how river rehabilitation will happen, and what its result will be. This visualisation technology, therefore, will be an important communication and learning tool in the public engagement phase that must comprise part of the environmental permitting process. of using appropriate technology to preserve the environment, enhance living standards, and improve the quality of life. The BMPs hav e two main focal areas of alternative technology: Low impact developments (LIDs); and Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs), where interventions to stabilise rivers could range from the use of natural materials like rocks and gabions, to naturally vegetated banks and weirs designed specially to dissipate energy. Water quality can be enhanced by preserving, extending, or creating urban wetland areas. “These best management practices integrate town planning and stormwater planning to reach the optimal solution,” said Sim. u Foundation damage and debris problems in urban rivers. 19