Inviting Trouble Downstream

by Phillip Williams, P.E., (M.ASCE), Pres.; Philip Williams and Associates Ltd., San Francisco, CA; and Pres. of Internatl. Rivers Network,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 2, Pg. 50-53

Document Type: Feature article


When dam-building advocates, representing power generation, irrigation and flood control interests, get their project built, flood control ranks third in priority. Soon, development encroaches on the floodplain and operational guidelines are ignored, so that many flood control dams cannot provide the protection originally promised. By failing to address the inherent limitations of flood control reservoirs in flood management planning, engineers are facing the probability of an unprecedented catastrophe.

Subject Headings: Floods | Project management | Dams | Reservoirs | Probability | Personnel management | Irrigation

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