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Downcutting impacts water resource management

Downcutting is a type of geological erosion. When water moves through a channel at a rate that doesn’t allow materials to deposit while also carving out existing material, the channel’s structure alters vertically. 

Erosion increases when a channel experiences any type of hydrologic change. These can be natural changes related to climate or anthropogenic changes.

Experts in Texas closely monitor erosion. An alluvial history of the Brazos River in Central Texas shows erosion impact on the river’s structure. Water conditions directly changed the rate of sediment accumulation resulting in depth and lateral transformation. 

Erosion and stabilization

Types of erosion, including downcutting, impact the function of a water channel. Civil engineers work with jurisdictional authorities to identify incidences of erosion, analyze the current impact, and create mitigation or restoration plans. 

Erosion is a natural process that creates beautiful structures like canyons. It can also have adverse effects on communities, such as:

  • Decreased ground stability—Changes in the ground structure can significantly impact utilities. 
  • Changes in floodplains—Erosion changes the flow of water, which can affect flood incident risk and mitigation plans. 
  • Property damage—Bank erosion can encroach on property boundaries.
  • Other infrastructure damage—Roadway and bridge stability has the potential to be drastically impaired. 

Bank stabilization and other restoration projects are frequent solutions to erosion challenges. Once the cause of erosion is determined, engineers can create viable solutions. 

Water resource management and downcutting solutions

OEI is a leading water resources firm. Our team has completed thousands of hydraulic, hydrologic, and hydrodynamic projects solving complex water management challenges.

In addition to providing innovative solutions to the most complex challenges, our team expertly navigates regulatory processes and overlapping jurisdictional coordination and compliance. 

Community planners can take the steps today to mitigate future issues caused by erosion. Contact us to discuss your community’s erosion control needs.