Removal of The Colora River Bank Essay

1674 Words 7 Pages
The function of riparian zone vegetation and river banks in South Africa, are under constant threat of anthropogenic activities such as mining and agricultural practices along riverine areas. The degradation of such vegetation and the collapse or removal of river banks has a profound wide spread and long term effect on the riverine environment (Zainudin et al. 2013). Initiatives such as Working for Water (WfW) has taken up the challenge to actively restore degraded and disturbed riverine environments in order to restore the quality and availability of water in South African catchment areas (Palmer et al. 2005; Holmes et al. 2008).
Conservation and restoration of riparian and river bank environments and ecosystems has become a hot topic
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This eventually involves breaching of buffer zones and the destruction of riparian zones.
This project deals with one such case where historic illegal and unregulated mining lead to the destruction of the riparian zone and the subsequently collapse of the upper eastern embankment of the Colora River. Recent legalised mining activity along the river has also lead to further destruction of the riverine environment downstream. To gain a better understanding of riparian and riverine functioning and restoration, applicable literature regarding the following aspects must be consulted:

(i) stabilization of embankments;
(ii) removal of river banks;
(iii) reconstruction of river banks;
(iv) natural sediment deposition in riverine systems;
(v) natural rehabilitation of riparian vegetation;
(vi) management of alien invasive vegetation;
(vii) rehabilitation of Thicket;
(viii) river health;
(ix) and the creation of new flow paths.

Stabilizing embankments
During the early nineties the Namoi River, located near Boggabri in north-western New South Wales, was at high risk of riverbank degradation. In 1995 John and Robyn Watson implemented a long term rehabilitation program along the Namoi River. They were extremely successful in the program and received the NSW RiverCare award in 2005 (Spanswick & Roth, Unpublished).

The recipe for their success in stabilizing the embankment and riparian zone…

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