How far have management practices come in 'working with the river'?

Kirstie Fryirs*, Gary Brierley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinionpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The philosophy of ‘working with nature’ and ‘working with the river’ is increasingly embedded in global management practice. However, what does this mean? Has real progress been made in operationalizing what is known, how scientists and practitioners work and how rivers are conceptualized as integral parts of landscapes, culture and society? The first sections of this commentary outline what this philosophy means to us (the authors) and briefly summarize the evolution of associated concepts and principles in recent decades. In the final section, we comment on what we believe needs to be done to ‘work with the river’ in practice. We are communicating to both river scientists and practitioners as a collective when we ask: Will we be brave enough to hold the course in the face of many global challenges, be ready to respond when called upon, and commit to creation of diverse, inclusive and open access communities of practice in geoethical programmes that ‘work with the river’?.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3004-3010
    Number of pages7
    JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
    Issue number15
    Early online date25 Oct 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


    • geoethics
    • geomorphology
    • nature-based solutions
    • river management
    • river repair
    • river restoration
    • riverscape


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