An Alternative View of River Management by the Corps of Engineers

Rivers can be the lifeblood of a nation. Not everyone agrees on what their purpose is about.

by Eric Holdeman / April 16, 2019

What echo chamber do you live in? Where do you get your information about politics, religious faith/or none, engineering, earth science, history, etc.?

Much of what I read about in the general media here in the Pacific Northwest has an "environmental flavor" to it. Today in the news, there are stories about restoring fish habitat by removing all the dams on the Columbia River to save the Puget Sound orca whale population. Earlier this week I was speaking to a young master's candidate who is studying marine biology. I told her about my theory that a clash is coming about the use of water flowing down the Columbia River. Eventually there will be a battle royal about the priority of fish (whales), agriculture, flood control, agricultural shipping, power generation and drinking water. I don't think I'll be alive to see how it eventually plays out, but there will be a huge court fight with winners and losers on all sides. 

Which brings me to this pretty "conservative" view of river management. Check out When Environmentalists Attack. You should know me enough by now that I'm not "all in" on protecting people and property when they chose to build, work and live in a flood plain. The author of the above notes early in the article that the recent flooding on the Missouri River could not have been contained by man-made flood control measures. 

There were some things that rang true to me. Just as there is a "military industrial" segment of our business operations, there are other "nonprofits" who have their own monetary interests to be served. I recently had coffee with an elected official who opened my eyes to another area of our community — where there are those, lawyers for example, who profit off the homeless community and those passionate about serving them — a real moneymaker if they choose to go in that direction. While true-blue environmentalists can turn up their nose about the oil industry or other others polluting our land, water and air, there are those who are making money off their passion and energies, whose monetary needs are being fed by their advocacy.  

Note to self and to you, not everyone and their motives are as pure and white as newly fallen snow. 

Platforms & Programs