Towards Sustainable Sediment Management of catchments and reservoirs

DAMAST-Transfer Qualification Program & DAAD SDG-Caucasus workshop, September 24–September 28, Potshko Etseri, Georgia

As team from the Department of Water and River Management from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) together with partners from the Georgian Technical University (GTU) and Tbilisi State University (TSU) we organized a joined workshop with the title “Towards Sustainable Sediment Management of Catchments and Reservoirs”. The workshop took place from 24.09-28.09.2023 in Postko Esteri in direct vicinity to the Enguri Dam.

September 24th and 25th / Day 1 and 2
After arrival and the get-together on the afternoon of September 24th, the first „working day“ of the workshop started on September 25th with an overview of the DAMAST / DAMAST-Transfer projects presented by Klajdi Sotiri. He presented the overall goal of the projects and he highlighted the scientific aims of the different subprojects. The second presentation was given by Prof. Gia Kalabegishvili from the GTU, presenting a review of different types of hydropower plants. After the following presentation of Stephan Hilgert about reservoir sedimentation on the global scale, and a general overview over the mitigation possibilities for improving sediment management from Andreas Kron the students were split into two working groups. The task for the groups was to discuss different mitigation measures and possibilities for adapting at the Enguri-situation and to prepare a presentation to be given at the 27th of September.
In the afternoon session there were two more presentations given by Stephan Hilgert about Monitoring of sedimentation in reservoirs and Andreas Kron about Hydraulics and Hydroinformatics followed by a discussion. The content of both presentations was important for bringing the students from different study programs and semesters on a common knowledge base as it was relevant for the filed measurement the next day.

September, 26th / Day 3
After having breakfast together, the groups started with the equipment to the measuring locations. One group took a boat that was provided by Engurhesi an did a bathymetric and seismic measurement of the Enguri reservoir with Echo sounding devices.The other went upstream the Enguri rive to a wooden suspension bridge and took measurements of flow velocity and water depth over a cross section of the  river using an ADCP-device (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler).

After Lunch break the groups switched the locations. With group size of 4 and 6 people every student had the chance to take an active part in the measuring campaigns. After a long but sunny day outside the groups met again for dinner. The experience the students got from the measurements improved their understanding of the hydraulics and the sedimentation processes in rivers and reservoirs.

September 27th / Day 4
The fourth day started with two presentations of David Svanadze, a college from Georgia and same as Gia Klabegishvili part of the German-Georgian project group since day 1 of the DAMAST projects in 2019. He firstly presented the history and actual tasks of National Environmental Agency (NEA) of Georgia, who is in charge of the hydrometric stations in Georgia. Afterwards he talked about his research topic, the Glacier research in Georgia. Again this is important for the Enguri while most of  Georgian glaciers are within the Enguri catchment. After that the students continued in their working goups to finalize their ideas and to prepare presentations for the afternoon session. Before Lunch the students got the chance to have a closer look at the data that were measured the day before and how they are processed for interpretation. In the afternoon session the students presented their ideas of how the sediment management of the Enguri reservoir could be improved to extend the lifetime oft he dam. Each group was very enthusiastic about their results, so there was a very lively discussion during and after the presentations.

September 28th, Day 5
At the final day Joni Chania (Head of the Enguri HPP) and Levan Mebonia (Director of Engurhesi) joined the group for informing the students about the Enguri HPP in general, the shortly finished rehabilitation measures and the plans for adding a pump storage power plant at the Enguri site. After the discussion in the conference room the students started for visit of the HPP and specially the dam.
Even the program of the workshop was fully packed all participants enjoyed it very much. We are sure that including students, as the next generation of researches, in projects like DAMAST is one of the most beneficial way to make them conscious about the practical aspects of their studies.

We thank the Bsc., Msc. and PhD Students for their great interest and motivation! We also thank Prof. Kalagebishvili and Engurhesi LLC for support and cooperation. Many thanks goes to David Svanadze and Nino Tsereli for the great organization on site. The workshop took place in the frame of the DAMAST-Transfer project and was supported by the DAAD.