Our approach to river restoration is founded in the belief that working with natural fluvial processes delivers the best results and the most sustainable designs. Geomorphic processes create a variety of riverine habitats which have different physical characteristics relating to flow depths, velocity, bed and bank materials, and channel and marginal vegetation. These are the building blocks on which habitats develop. Our team of specialists includes geomorphologists, ecologists and water resource engineers. We are fully integrated and take a truly interdisciplinary approach to our work.
River restoration is increasingly being understood as a fundamental part of sustainable water management. At GRA our philosophy is to focus on restoring the geomorphic function of river systems for the purpose of maximizing habitat potential. In natural systems geomorphic processes create a variety of habitats, each reliant on different physical characteristics. Pools, riffles, runs, meanders, sand and gravel deposits, islands and undercut banks are all examples of natural geomorphic features that provide the building blocks for habitat development. To maximize habitat potential we must recognize the importance of the role played by the overall river corridor, including riparian and floodplain areas. In this sense, the maintenance or enhancement of natural patterns of lateral and longitudinal connectivity to the overall corridor is key to the success of any river restoration project. By restoring natural processes, river restoration enhances the resilience of river environments resulting in self-sustaining systems. EXPERIENCE: Our team has considerable experience in undertaking channel and floodplain restoration schemes. Our services include:
• Geomorphology (fluvial, hillslope and coastal)
• Catchment and reach scale assessments
• Aquatic and terrestrial biology
• Hydrology and hydraulics
• Water resource engineering
• Sediment transport modelling
• Conceptual and detailed design
• Options appraisal and public consultation
• Survey and field assessment
• Geomatics, AutoCAD, GIS and 3D technical design
• 3D rendering and visualization
• Construction management
• Post construction monitoring
River restoration is increasingly being understood as a fundamental part of sustainable water management. At GRA our philosophy is to focus on restoring the geomorphic function of river systems for the purpose of maximizing habitat potential. In natural systems geomorphic processes create a variety of habitats, each reliant on different physical characteristics. Pools, riffles, runs, meanders, sand and gravel deposits, islands and undercut banks are all examples of natural geomorphic features that provide the building blocks for habitat development.
To maximize habitat potential we must recognize the importance of the role played by the overall river corridor, including riparian and floodplain areas. In this sense, the maintenance or enhancement of natural patterns of lateral and longitudinal connectivity to the overall corridor is key to the success of any river restoration project. By restoring natural processes, river restoration enhances the resilience of river environments resulting in self-sustaining systems.
EXPERIENCE: Our team has considerable experience in undertaking channel and floodplain restoration schemes. Our services include:
The discipline of fluvial geomorphology studies the interactions between flowing water and our changing landscape. At GeoProcess Research Associates we have extensive experience in natural systems; experience garnered from years of academic research and complex project delivery as well as many kilometers of natural channel design solutions. We use sound science to evaluate the formative river processes that are applicable to the study or design.
Our field and analytical services include:
• Reconnaissance surveys using geomorphic principles and knowledge of channel forming processes and indicators;
• Comprehensive geomorphic site assessments using advanced survey technology;
• Sampling of bed material (in situ and diagnostic) and suspended sediment loads;
• Hydraulic assessment for determination of the stability of bed materials and of complex channel types;
• Hydrological and hydraulic analysis for sediment transport budgeting and cumulative impacts studies;
• Historical and forensic geomorphic analysis for establishing rates and mechanisms of erosion; and,
• Hazard assessment for erosion prone areas.
All of these components play a significant role in our ability to design natural channel solutions which are effective, functional and dynamically stable over time.
Our objective during project delivery is long term sustainability of physical and biological systems. We do this by achieving a balance between the competing forces of erosion and deposition and the complementary flow and sediment transport regimes. Stability and valley corridor integration also drives the focus of our design services, which include:
• Natural system (valley corridor) design;
• River training and protective works; and,
• Habitat enhancements or restoration.
Our design team integrates advanced design tools such as dynamic, object-oriented 3D modelling to better undertake complex tasks such as river corridor iterations and cut-fill balances. GRA’s field-to-desktop approach integrates the advanced survey, reality capture and rendering, hydraulic and sediment transport modelling, detailed design, drafting and tendering process, to the benefit of our client’s bottom line and peace of mind.
Minimizing our impact upon surface water resources, including water balance, is our main area of focus along with identifying the risks and potential consequences of infrequent flooding and drought events.
The WR group within GRA understands water flow at all natural tempos. We work at the interfaces between human built and more natural ecosystems. That interface is fluid, extremely integrated, and must be managed carefully.
We define processes and inherent risks in surface water systems that touch both society and nature, and are able to communicate challenges, proposed actions and solutions. Water resources engineering at GRA is completed with collaboration, careful consideration and balance.
Our water resources engineers have keen interest in and have achieved successful results in the following areas of focus:
• Hydrology, estimating watercourse flow regimes including flood flows, using event based and continuous long term modelling, statistical methods and challenges, accommodation for climate change. How the water will flow.
• Watercourse Crossings, including hydraulic design of bridges and culverts and input towards structural design, scour analysis, pipe and service crossings. How to get across.
• Floodplain, including mapping, characterization, 2D modelling, policy development, risk analysis, mitigation & evaluation of valley restoration works. How to protect ourselves.
• Stormwater management, including low impact development, pond design, urban conveyance, policy development, cost sharing, stormwater utilities. How to lower our impact.
• Water Balance, surface water budgets, effect of natural hydrologic features, estimates of recharge & integration with hydrogeology, mitigation design. Keeping things flowing.
• Integrated Watershed Studies & Environmental Assessment, all technical aspects previously outlined woven together into a fabric that includes social knowledge as gained through wide ranging participation, including input from First Nations.
GRA engineers will complete each water resources project and study with an integrated approach, and always with collaboration, diligent technical work, and functional and efficient design.
GeoProcess Research Associates recognizes the interconnectivity between the physical and biological processes occurring within a riverine system. It is simply not good enough to consider only physical parameters when developing channel solutions. The physical form of a watercourse supports its biological life systems and vise-versa, the biological community provides feedback loops which influence the physical form of the river. A critical component of GRA projects’ are understanding the biological systems associated with a river system, their form and function and how they influence and are influenced by the river.
Ecological services provided by GRA include:
• Fish habitat assessments
• Fish community sampling
• Fish habitat modelling
• Fish habitat design/Ecohydraulics
• Vegetation Classification
• Breeding Bird Assessments
• Amphibian Calling Surveys
• Restoration plans
The cornerstone of our modelling approach recognizes that groundwater and surface water are fundamentally parts of the same system. Our expertise lies in applying this holistic water balance philosophy to the assessment of complex groundwater-surface water interactions across a diverse range of sectors and scales. An in-depth understanding of how water moves through the environment – be it a watershed or a wetland, a neighbourhood or a mine site – forms the foundation for a successful outcome in any water resources project.
GRA applies integrated modelling to address a range of complex problems such as:
• Watershed-scale urban development impacts
• Source Water Protection studies
• Environmental flows and levels
• Neighbourhood-scale design and evaluation of Low Impact Development (LID) measures
• Quarry and mining applications and permitting support
• Water budgeting/balance assessments
• Climate change analysis
• Wetland impact assessments
In addition to our flagship integrated solutions, the team also provides a range of numerical modelling solutions and analyses to provide industry-leading solutions that are tailored to our clients’ unique water resource challenges. GeoProcess has often been engaged to provide expertise related to:
• 1D/2D hydraulic modelling
• 3D geologic modelling with Leapfrog®
• Baseline site and watershed characterization studies
• Watershed and regional-scale hydrologic and groundwater modelling
• Wellhead protection area (WHPAs) delineation
• Delineation of Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas (SGRAs) and Ecologically Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas (ESGRAs)
• Flood assessment and forecasting