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The magic of water and geosynthetics

Editorial | February 1, 2019 | By:

Water is a fundamental issue in many projects using geosynthetics. From erosion control to reservoir liners and covers, from landfill leachate pond barriers to coal ash dewatering, handling water and the effects of water are considerations nearly every engineer employing geosynthetics considers.

Geosynthetics can effectively manage water applications of erosion control, reinforcement, barriers, filtration and drainage. High-performance turf reinforcement mats, geogrids, wick drains, geomembranes, geocomposites and many more types of geosynthetics play a role in managing water, keeping water clean, stabilizing areas from the effects of water, and draining clean water from silty or contaminated areas.

Richard Thiel knows a lot about geomembranes and water, and his “Evaluating a Leachate Pond Geomembrane after 25 Years of Service” examines a Pacific Northwest pond liner’s impressive longevity. Erosion control is the emphasis of Ryan J. Baeten and Eric J. Tlachac’s “Lake Michigan Bluff Erosion Protection Using a Geocomposite Groundwater Drainage System.” We revisit a Southern California reservoir in Part 3 of John Heap and Chris Kelsey’s “Reviving the Palos Verde Reservoir.” The International Achievement Awards touch on water issues in Colombia, Turkey, Tennessee, China and Hawaii.

Philosopher Loren Eiseley said, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” If there is magic in the handling of water, geosynthetics provides the wizardry in so many ways.

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