Into the multiverse: River restoration versus the Anthropocene

Year: 2020
Presenter/s: Peter Downs
Symposium Session: 2020 - 00 Invited Speaker
Topics covered: adaptive management and monitoring, climate change, floodplain, lessons learned, sediment transport, and stream


The (inter)discipline of river restoration has now been practiced for 30 years. Following several decades of growing environmental awareness and scientific recognition of human-induced ‘river stresses’, the 1980s saw the global uptake of environmental assessment legislation, recognition of the performance and cost benefits of integrating conservation into river management, and concerns for achieving sustainable actions. Since ca.1990, river restoration has become a global phenomenon and multi-billion-dollar business. While deliberations continue about the ultimate goal in restoring rivers, restoration in practise adds a conservation-focused third element to river management, joining far longer-held concerns for water resource provision and river hazard minimization to result in an interdisciplinary ‘river management 2.0’.