The International Sediment Initiative (ISI) and its case studies
The management of sediment in river basins and waterways has been an important issue for water managers throughout history. The changing nature of sediment issues has meant that water managers today face many complex technical and environmental challenges in relation to sediment management. UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) launched the International Sediment Initiative (ISI) in 2002. ISI aims to further advance sustainable sediment management on a global scale. This is achieved through the delivery of a decision support framework for sediment management that provides guidance on legislative and institutional solutions, applicable across a range of socio-economic and physiographic settings in the context of global change. ISI mobilizes international experience on sediment problems and their management through the compilation of a series of case studies representative of a broad range of physiographic and socio-economic conditions, which are made available as guidance for policy makers dealing with water and river basin management. Case studies prepared to date include the Nile River Basin, the Mississippi River Basin, the Rhine River Basin, the Volga River Basin, the Yellow River Basin, and the Haihe and Liaohe River Basins. Available in full from the ISI website, these detailed case studies are briefly introduced in this paper, which aims to provide an accessible overview of sediment problems and sediment management around the world. Key issues relating to sediment management and recommendations for developing management strategies presented in this paper have been extracted from these case studies.