Soil erosion occurs wherever water meets land with great force to move the soil. This occurs along the stream banks or excess water flows over hill slopes. Erosion can be dramatic, especially after heavy rainfall or floods. Erosion can be severe, as is the case in many man-made lakes, where shorelines are composed of easily erodable soil. Traditional methods of controlling the erosion have relied on structural practices like riprap, retaining walls and sheet piles. In many cases, these
methods are expensive, ineffective or socially unacceptable. An alternative approach is bio-engineering, a method of construction using living or non-living materials along with organic or inorganic material to produce living functioning system which act as a drains and prevent the earth movement.
In bioengineering techniques, plants and parts of the plants are used as a main structural component to reinforce the soil, and control the erosion. Bioengineering is a diverse and multidisciplinary field requiring the expertise of engineers, botanist, soil scientists and construction contractors. It is a rapidly growing field, subject to a innovations and changing design specifications. The increased environmental consciousness often makes bioengineering solutions more acceptable than traditional methods.
Bioengineering can prove to be an effective tool for slope protection in road
project. Bioengineering stabilizes the ground surface to prevent the surface erosion, however, it does not stabilize inherently unstable slopes that are excessively steep, poorly drained or poorly consolidated.