Sea dike construction challenges in coastal waters for storage of river flood waters: a sustainable strategy for water resource development using coastal reservoirs

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T G Sitharam


In this paper, marine civil engineering structures such as breakwater and sea dikes are discussed along with the challenges of constructing a sea dike in coastal waters close to the coast for storage of flood waters or coastal reservoirs. Here the solution in utilizing or storing the abundant monsoon water which runs off to the ocean close to the coast itself using coastal reservoirs bounded by sea dikes with suitable modifications is proposed. Sea dike is an earthen dike, often meant to prevent flooding of the hinterland and the primary function is to protect low-lying coastal areas from inundation by the sea. For creating coastal reservoirs for storing river flood waters within the shallow waters of the coast close to the point where river joins the ocean. Breakwaters and sea dikes are structures which provide protection against the wave action of the sea and provide coastal protection. The same can be suitably modified for construction of coastal reservoir dikes. Each type of structures which are being considered in the marine environment will be discussed along with their advantages and disadvantages. Construction types of the sea dike or breakwater with specific modifications and alternatives will be presented with necessary design principles and different types of structures which are feasible in this marine environment. A case study of Ennore coal project, India is briefly presented, where a construction of breakwater has been done to protect coal harbour and incoming ships. This case study will be presented in brief to highlight the need for new construction technologies for building sea dikes using geotextiles. Emerging geosynthetic materials and innovative geosynthetic applications are presented for the construction of sea dikes for the creation of coastal reservoirs.


sea dikes; coastal reservoirs; flood waters; water resource development; geosynthetics

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