February 13, 2016

Dam Removal Goes Prime Time

First, it was just a trickle...
This post is ripe for water metaphors, but I'm flowing off course.
Something is happening to America's Rivers, and for the first time in a long time, it's good. Positive changes are starting to flow freely over the entire Continental US (sorry, I can't resist), and it really is a deluge. Take a look at these statistics released by a non Profit organization out of Washington DC called American Rivers, which is the national environmental advocacy group for all the river's and streams of the US.

The Baseline:
There are 79,000 dam's registered with the Army Corps of Engineers, who are the major government flood control agency, and are staffed by a combination of civilians and members of the US Army's Combat Engineers.
In the West, an additional agency called the US Bureau of Reclamation has the job of damning ( did I leave an in there.. sorry!) water to produce electricty and provide water for a few cities, but mostly for agriculture and powe rcreation. In the case of the colorado river, about 20% of diverted water goes to cities and 80% goes to agriculture, and the same dams do create enough electricity to power millions of homes (1mw tends to power about 1000 homes is the standard way to think about it).