First technical guide on river embankments and seawalls

The embankments are artificial hydraulic structures designed to prevent floods that require maintenance and protection. This recent realization was strengthened by the dramatic consequences of the cyclone Xynthia in 2010. To prevent other disasters, regulations have been changed, and regional authorities are now given the task of managing embankments and seawalls. However, technical and scientific appraisals were scattered among various reports and other documents that did not deal directly with embankments. There was a need for a guide that provided a technical overview. The new book, Référentiel Technique digues maritime et fluviales (Technical guide on river embankments and seawalls), coordinated by Irstea at the request of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, aims at addressing this issue.

A common language

With certain foundations dating back to the Middle Ages, French river embankments are often very old and differ in design and appearance. The way they were built differs from one region to another, and the lack of knowledge of these structures made it difficult for experts, scientists, and managers in charge of their upkeep. This guide is not intended to be prescriptive or regulatory; its only objective is to get all the stakeholders to agree on basic concepts and vocabulary.
The guide also offers solutions and current methods gathered by the 10 experts who worked on this book. We've taken the first step toward building a body of knowledge that will certainly grow significantly in the years to come. 

Book reference:  Référentiel Technique digues maritimes et fluviales (Technical guide on river embankments and seawalls). Technical guide coordinated by D. Poulain and R. Tourment, MEDD-DGPR, 2015. Browse through the book (in french).

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