Bank Protection
on Inland Waterways

Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde
Technisch-biologische Ufersicherungen an Binnenwasserstraßen

Technical-Biological Bank Protection on Inland Waterways

The Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) and the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) are working on a joint research project that investigates the suitability of environmentally friendly technical-biological bank protection on inland waterways. The project considers technical, ecological and economic issues.

The research project seeks to determine how the ecological status of inland waterway banks can be improved. Ecological enhancement of riparian zones can usually be best achieved by removing and not replacing existing structures, i.e. predominantly riprap. Waterway banks would then be left to their own devices. However, bank protection is indispensable on many waterway reaches. In these places, riprap may be replaced with more environmentally friendly bank protection measures that use vegetation, if boundary conditions permit this. The objective is to re-enforce the riverbank in a more environmentally friendly way and at the same time ensure the stability of the bank. There is not yet sufficient experience with technical-biological bank protection measures on waterways that are subject to today’s intensive shipping.

For several years BAW and BfG have been studying the ability of technical-biological bank protection to withstand ship-induced hydraulic loads and their ecological effectiveness on inland waterways. These institutes, in cooperation with the local waterways and shipping offices and their branch offices, also consider issues related to the cost, construction and maintenance as well as the long-term stability of these more natural, technical-biological measures. Guidelines, application recommendations, evaluation and design concepts are developed based on a variety of laboratory, model and field tests as well as further specific investigations. They are made available to planning engineers and persons responsible for the maintenance of waterbodies. Major study results are posted on this Internet portal on an ongoing basis.

Read more about the project in the project description (PDF) and have a
look at our project-flyer (PDF).