Design of new coastal defence system to stop erosion in Georgia

Published: 14 January 2015

Deltares is working with the Technital (Italy) and Saunders Group Ltd (Georgia) on the design of a new coastal defence system to protect the Batumi Coast in Georgia against erosion. The Georgian coast near Batumi has been struggling with coastal erosion for years, with more than one metre a year being lost to the sea in some places. The construction of a coastal defence system should protect houses, roads and a section of the airport close to the coast.
Coastal erosion Batumi coast, Georgia

Coastal erosion Batumi coast, Georgia

Sediment hunger exacerbates erosion

Coastal erosion is mainly cauased by a smaller amout of sediments being deposited on the coastline. The Chorocky River used to transport large amounts of sediment to the coast. As a result of the natural displacement of the river, and the building of new dams along its course, “sediment hunger” has become a challenge. Project leader Alessio Giardino of Deltares: “In technical terms, this is a difficult project because there are two deep canyons just in front of the coast. That means, for example, that it is not easy to build groins or robust hydraulic engineering structures. We are going to study the causes of the coastal erosion, drawing on past studies at the same time. On the basis of the results, we will be able to identify the required measures and we will carry out model calculations for the coastal defence system. Alongside the hard solutions, we will also be looking at possible soft solutions that make smart use of sediment.”

The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and conducted by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia (MDF).