« March 2011 | Main | June 2011 »

April 16, 2011

Water Runs North

Challenged by flood-related road closures, a recent drive forced me onto gravel farm roads some seven miles from the main stem of the Red River. It was clear that water had accumulated in their drain ditches but had moved through the system. Evident was a suitable depth held for a time with the dark top soil smoothed and flattened into a ceramic like surface. Fields were mostly clear of any standing water as were the ditches, at least those distanced to any tributaries.

Why flash the Red, the Sheyenne, the Maple? Why not hold the water?
Why gouge the table-top landscape with man-made ditches but not use these as storage capacity?

The quick drainage of the 5000 square miles of agricultural land is suspect, as are the addition of non-porous surfaces associated with urban sprawl, and the levees we build to hold back the relentless Red.

What of the prairie potholes that were drained, and not replaced, taking that many more sponges out of the equation of absorption, retention, and slow peculation?

Has the systemically warmer temperatures realized over the past decades been included by the modellers?

What are the real costs of denying that Mother Earth can get along just fine without us?

A design for a timed release of water will allow for us to coexist with nature.