Application of Vetiver System for Control of River Erosion

We are lucky to have dedicated and committed engineers like Shantanoo Bhattacharyya Executive Engineer, of Assam’s (India) Public Works Department who has been working for the past eight years in applying vetiver for slope stabilization, particularly for stabilizing the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River and its distributaries.  In his photo essay he describes diagramatically the various types of river bank erosion problems and how they can be solved by either the Vetiver System as a stand alone technology or when necessary with other technologies.  On average the Brahmaputra in India is causing the loss of 8,400 ha of land a year.  Shantanoo shows how this can be reduced by using VS when applied correctly.  In fact when using vetiver there appears to be a net gain in silt deposition!  This photo essay, along with his comments, should provide some confidence to others who have to tackle similar daunting tasks.  I would like to underscore the importance that stabilizing river bank slopes can be extremely complex, and a knowledge of engineering is essential if the job is to be successful.  This means good design work, good application and supervision, and adequate follow up maintenance. Shantanoo also confirms the need: for community involvement (both for labor, plant propagation, and maintenance); for policy makers to include VS into the design requirements; and adequate numbers of trained professional staff to assure proper application.  Thank you Shantanoo!
Dick Grimshaw