With so much innovation taking place in almost every industry imaginable, it’s hard not to wonder about the future of erosion and sediment control. Global erosion is increasing at unprecedented rates, but this means the erosion control product market has seen exponential growth.
What is Erosion, and How is it Harmful?
Erosion is the degradation of soil, rock, and other materials or structures. The main drivers behind erosion are wind, water, and weather.
Over time, erosion can cause massive damage levels, including retreating shorelines, ruined property, and even landslides. If the erosion occurs on levees, riverbanks, or dams, it could cause large-scale flooding. The American coastline is currently receding at 25 - 50 feet per year, with the higher end of the scale being around the Great Lakes. If you own or manage land, that’s 25 - 50 feet of land lost to erosion each year.
What Is Sediment and How Does it Contribute to Erosion?
Sediment is particles of rock, soil, and sand picked up and transported by water. These particles are usually the result of heavy erosion in themselves and come in various shapes and sizes.
With earth and rock being carried away by rain and rivers, it is permanently lost from its place of origin.
What is the Current State of Global Erosion?
Global rates of erosion are currently high and increasing all the time. The average soil erosion rate internationally is 2.4 t ha-1 yr-1 and nearly a quarter of the world’s beaches are eroding at more than half a meter per year.
With all types of erosion increasing rapidly across the globe, extensive erosion control measures are needed in many high-risk areas. The United States, soil erosion costs $8 billion in global economic loss annually. This financial loss comes from a reduction in crop yield and higher use of water.
Some of the factors causing the increase in global erosion include:
Changing weather patterns
Increased precipitation, especially rainfall
More frequent heavy rain
More extreme weather events along the coastline
Increased construction and agriculture
How Does This Affect the Future of Erosion and Sediment Control?
As erosion increases, the need for erosion control measures increases with it. The market for erosion control blankets (just one in a wide range of erosion control products) will grow by 6.8% by 2026, generating up to $134 million.
With increased demand comes increased innovation, so the industry will likely see new and improved technology.
Global Erosion Control By Region
Many developed countries have robust erosion control policies in place. Developing countries will see increased soil erosion levels on agricultural land, and in many areas, it is causing severe damage.
Affordable, easily transportable erosion control products produced on a large scale are likely to be in demand for many countries.
What New Technology is Available for Erosion and Sediment Control?
Innovation is changing the way we do things in every area of life, and erosion control is no different. From modeling to geotextiles, new technology is discovered or adapted every day, and some of it could help you manage erosion.
The use of modeling has been in the spotlight lately, but modeling can do so much more than help governments plan out disease control scenarios. Modeling has been used to understand factors in soil erosion, estimate sea-level rise, and much more.
As we understand more about modeling and AI, we can use it to predict erosion levels, highlight problem areas, and estimate land and crop loss.
Previously, builders, farmers, and landowners would have to use helicopters or boats to explore their surroundings and pinpoint potential erosion problem areas. With the invention of drones, many more people can affordably access more of their land.
Once you have this kind of information, you can take pre-emptive action and minimize your property's risk. Drones also allow you to review your existing erosion control measures more regularly and undertake necessary repairs quicker.
Erosion and Sediment Control with Flexamat
Flexamat is the company that pioneered the tied concrete mat, an essential tool in erosion control. Flexamat has over 30 years of industry expertise and ships all over the world.
Common applications include:
Flexamat’s achievements in the erosion control industry are numerous. The US-based firm is responsible for the technology used to manufacture and package concrete erosion control mats into rolls. We pride ourselves on our customizable products.
Step into the future of erosion control and sediment control with Flexamat