Every year we have floods and every year those floods cost us hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in infrastructure damage, not to mention the loss of life they cause. We throw up our hands and curse God. Many people blame their fellow citizens for environmental practices and want us to believe floods are somehow associated with global warming. They are not for there have always been floods and there always will be floods. Noah built an ark for the great flood says the Bible but if you study cultural history you’ll find that almost every civilization has a history of the great flood including 120 American Indian tribes, but I digress. We might not be able to deal with another flood of Biblical proportions but we can deal with the yearly floods of the Midwest and Upper South. We talk a lot about doing things about the weather which we really can’t influence and we have idealistic dreams of perfect equality, which is just that, a dream, but if you’re talking about being able to do something about problems then why not start with flooding ,because there is something that could be done.
The answer is to build a network of waterways that open and drain flood waters from rivers and streams. Channel that water into large reservoirs. Set up top soil reclamation projects to dredge the top soil from the runoff and return it to from whence it came or use it to make fertile other less fertile areas. Build pipelines from the reservoirs to areas that experience frequent drought and/or fire hazard areas in California and the Southwest.
All of this is doable. We already have the technology we just need the political and public will to undertake the project with the same enthusiasm we had when we built the interstate highway system.
This is what the Army Corps of Engineers should be doing instead of keeping the Mississippi River from changing course into the Atchafalaya River. Currently the Atchafalaya is used to control flooding on the Mississippi and the Red rivers but that fresh water and all the top soil ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. By building a system of flood canals across the country, with attendant reservoirs, we could alleviate the damage done by flooding, increase the water supply to drier areas and recover top soil to be used for burned out farm fields. The reservoirs would also provide for increased wildlife habitat.
If you want to get behind a Win/Win project this is the one.