The systems approach, a sub-element of Figure 2.2, provides an approach to evaluating channel
and watershed processes in preparation for preliminary design of the project. A systems approach must
be used to identify and solve interrelated problems of a watershed. For this approach, no single reach of
the system can be viewed as an isolated system. Solutions to problems must be approached in an
integrated fashion. The systems approach provides a process-based framework to define watershed
dynamics and to develop composite solutions. Understanding the physical process occurring in the
watershed is the only rational basis for developing a long-term solution.
The systems approach describes the qualitative and quantitative methods for background and field
investigations that are critical to approaching channel rehabilitation design. This approach was developed
because watersheds have a number of interrelated problems that require an integrated solution.
Development of this approach provides a process-based framework to define watershed and channel
dynamics and to develop integrated solutions. An understanding of the system dynamics is essential to
assess the consequences of a proposed rehabilitation project.
At this point in the Analysis flowchart (Figure 2.2), goals have been established, potential
alternatives have been considered and a thorough understanding of the physical processes in the watershed
has been developed. Next in the channel rehabilitation design sequence is the preliminary design. The
primary goal of the preliminary design section is the computation of a stable channel morphology and
development of a preliminary design to meet project goals. The preliminary design phase takes the data
and information generated from the initiation, planning, background investigations, field investigations, and
computational methodologies, and initiates the design process. The preliminary design process will
ultimately resolve the question: Are project goals met?
SUMMARY OF THE ANALYSIS CHART
The three steps of the analysis process are:
1. evaluate alternatives to achieve the project goals;
2. develop a thorough understanding of the watershed in the systems analysis; and
3. develop the preliminary design of the project.
The results of the Analysis process progresses to Implementation, which includes engineering design, plans
and specifications, construction and inspection, and monitoring.