Resilience measure: Deculverting of watercourses


This activity involves techniques to resolve the issues created by culverted watercourses. This is predominantly through deculverting, or ‘daylighting’ which involves opening up buried watercourses and restoring the bed, bank and riparian corridor to more natural conditions
(European Centre for River Restoration, Remove Culverts, accessed on Sept. 2016).

Co-benefits and impacts

Re-opening existing culverts can deliver a wide range of direct and indirect benefits, including direct benefits to salmonids, eels, coarse fish and other aquatic organisms by encouraging free movement of populations and individuals within the water body due to increase light, direct benefits to plants, invertebrates, birds and animals which can now live on the banks and riparian zone, improvements to in-channel habitats for aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates due to exposure to light, iImprovements to the physical habitat conditions of the watercourse, including the creation of a more natural bank profile and the creation of more varied habitat niches, restoration of natural processes, including erosion and deposition, improvements to the aesthetic value of the watercourse and improvements to its recreational value, reduction in maintenance costs of hard defences and reduction in health and safety risk.
(European Centre for River Restoration, Remove Culverts, accessed on Sept. 2016)
Deculverting of watercourses can also help to restore natural flow thus improving downstream erosional issues. Also, it provides improvement of riparian areas for reduced overland flow, and sediment and pollutant loading (through infiltration) which improve water quality.

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Long term

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Daylighting of watercourses

Last modified: Sept. 21, 2016, 5:29 a.m.