IWM - Integrated Watershed Management

Users of river water inherit the water quality and quantity from their up-stream neighbours. Soil loss is not only an issue for the farmer whose land is affected, but also for the operator of the reservoir down the river. The drainage area needs to be managed properly.

The measures proposed must be based on an understanding of the nature in the watershed, of the land use practices, of the social and ethnical characteristics, and of the economy of the region. The actions will be a mix of legislation, institution building, education, and engineering work; all based on the concept of empowering.

Hydroconsult is the expert on nature itself: how nature gives the pre-conditions for human existance, and how nature is affected by Man's activities. In virgin areas our expertise is enough, but where human activity is dominant, we welcome cooperation with companies with agricultural and social expertise.

We Offer...

Studies of sediment erosion and transport
Studies of geomorphological processes
Creation of Geographic Information Systems
Coordination and project leading of IWM projects
Complete Integrated Watershed Management Plan

Tropical vegetation
Arenal, Costa Rica

State-of-the-Art Tools and Methods

GIS technique for data handling Suspended sediment transport studies
Hydrological studies Land use and soil loss surveys
Reservoir investigations Geomorphologic mapping
Scree by Arenal reservoir
Arenal, Costa Rica

Suspended sediment transport

The inflow of sediments to the reservoir from the rivers is studied by measuring the discharge and the sediment concentration in the rivers. We have the necessary experience for evaluating the data and estimating the uncertainty--which may by over 100% depending on the data source. We can suggest improvements in the measurements and station network, as well as training.

Land use and soil loss surveys

We can undertake inventories of the present land use in the drainage area, of the soil loss rate, and relate the results to each other and to other environmental and social parametres using GIS techniques.

Geomorphologic mapping

Landforms and surface geology can be surveyed and mapped by our staff, both over and under the water surface. The survey can include both the morphology, and the processes. The result is an important physical background information for making a management plan for an area.

Example: Arenal Project, Costa Rica

This was in reality two studies combined into one, since some field work then could be combined: one watershed management study, and one floating island study.

The drainage area studies included an analysis of the land use, soils, geology, hydrology, and morphology, and the creation of potential erosion maps using GIS technology. It also included the analysis of sediment ttransport measurments in the rivers flowing into the reservoir, and the calculation of the useful life length of the reservoir which was found to be thousands rather than hundreds of years.

We Offer Solutions - Not Just Data