Thursday, September 23, 2010

Humans Don't Think Ahead

"Devil's Lake" in North Dakota is flooding the surrounding towns, due to ample rain fall and 'no natural drainage' away from the lake (link here). 'You'da thunk' that the town founders of the towns of Devil's Lake and Minnewaukan ND would have done a little fundamental surveying, back-in-the-day, a hundred and fifty years ago, and said "we need to establish this town on higher ground". But why should these small North Dakota towns be any different than most of Asia, Europe, and the Americas where small, medium, and very large population centers are down stream of dams, reservoirs, or snow-capped mountain glaciers - ie frozen reservoirs that can be melted (like Phoenix, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, etc), and still others are built on land that has subsided over centuries to the point where it's below sea level now (most of the Netherlands, Bangladesh, New Orleans, Venice, etc)?

video "Why do they build on the flood plain?" Audio link attached here.

I feel good knowing my home is not in a "100 year" flood plain. Yes, it is in a 500 year flood plain (like the Indus River just experienced) but in the desert here, that would be pretty rare indeed.

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