The Environment Agency has developed a practitioner’s guide on sediment budgets. The guide’s main aim is to support flood and coastal erosion risk management practitioners by explaining the need for sediment budget analysis and developing best practice in its application. Use of the guide will provide consistency in the execution and interpretation of sediment budget analysis. It will also help to improve the transparency of decision-making, as the consistent approach will mean stakeholders have greater understanding in the supporting evidence used to calculate a sediment budget.
A sediment budget summarises the balance of inputs and outputs for a defined system (such as an estuary) and time period. This helps determine if a system has an overall surplus (accretion) or deficit (erosion) of material. If the accretion and erosion figures are equal, then the system is considered to be in balance.