Applying Sustainable Development

by Thomas E. Mitchell, Acting Chief; Program Management Office, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007 - Building 67, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0007,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 12, Pg. 62-64

Document Type: Feature article


Experts hoping to lessen the harsh effects of development on Earth's ecosystem have turned to the concept of sustainable development. Engineers are finding old ways to put this new theory into practice. The article covers methods used by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to make existing and future water-related projects more conservation minded. Examples given include various canal linings and methods to enhance fisheries near large water projects. Seepage from unlined canals has been measured as high as 1.82 cu ft/sq ft/day. A lined canal is considered relatively impermeable if it loses less than 0.07 cu ft/sq ft/day. Unlined canals can also add tons of salinity to waterways. The article examines the pros and cons of several liner types and gives details of related BuRec projects and studies.

Subject Headings: Canals | Sustainable development | Linings | Water reclamation | Bureau of Reclamation | Fish management | Seepage | Salt water

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