The Importance of Dredging in Today’s World
The removal of silt and other materials from the bottom of water bodies is referred to as dredging. Lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water bodies contain the sediments and debris which are removed from the bottom. This is necessary to unblock the waterways which have been filled by sand and silt that is washing downstream. Boats and ships can have safe passage through the activity of dredging which keeps and raises the depth of navigation channels, anchorages, and berthing areas. The equipment that is used in a dredging activity is called a dredge. There are different types of dredges, and they are the cutter suction dredger, hopper dredger, trailer suction hopper dredger, clamshell dredger, hydraulic dredger, suction dredger, reclamation dredger, etc. The equipment have the same use but their application is in different areas. For mining sand, clay, or rock for construction, mining for gold and other valuables, reclaiming areas that have been damaged by old spills and storms, clearing trash off the sea beds, availing materials to beaches that have been eroded, the activity of dredging is applied.
Dredging plays a vital role in a nation’s economy. This is due to the large ships that carry and transport goods which have been imported or exported into and out of a country. Factors that might cause interruptions and lead to a failed economy are mitigated by dredging. By making use of these dredges, vessels are assured to stay afloat and not reach the bottom as the right water levels are maintained. They also maintain an increase water depth as larger ships are deployed over time. Dredging is also important in reducing the exposure of fish, wildlife, and people to contaminants in the water and preventing further spread of the contaminants in other areas of the water body. The pollution of water bodies from the influx of contaminated sediments that come in from cities and industrial sites has necessitated the need for dredging. The various sources that cause pollution include seawater overflows, municipal and industrial discharges, and spills. Damages caused by adverse weather conditions and increased climatic changes are righted through dredging. Many cities have been affected by exposure to increasing sea levels and damages from storms, and thus they require dredging for reclamation. Port maintenance is made effective by the use of dredges. It is better to have a dredging system in place than wait for damages to occur for action to be taken. This will save on costs that would otherwise have been incurred due to damages.
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