Feb 11 2013

A Few Good Reads (2/11/13): The Recovery in Australia

This week: Australia recovering from flooding, flood lessons for the U.S. from the Netherlands, value pricing step 4: presenting a proposal, and getting past a cultural mindset that rivers should not flood.


Lessons for U.S. From a Flood-Prone Land (NY Times)

The Dutch “way of thinking is completely different from the U.S.,” where disaster relief generally takes precedence over disaster avoidance, said Wim Kuijken, the Dutch government’s senior official for overall water control policy. “The U.S. is excellent at disaster management,” but “working to avoid disaster is completely different from working after a disaster.”

Value Pricing: Step 4: Present the Proposal (Point of Beginning)

Through discussing their concerns, I learned that working within their budget constraints was more important than a fast turnaround. I proposed that we break the project into six smaller projects that could be worked on during the next six consecutive winters. The boundary lines were through wooded property, and we could be much more productive during the winter when the leaves were off the trees. In this way, the client was able to spread the cost of the work across six budget years, which made it more affordable. We were able to modify the deal to better suit both parties, and I was able to make the same profit margin as in the initial proposal.

Restricting a river to its channel is not sustainable in the long term

Rivers flood (The River Management Blog)

Now all of this would be fine if we hadn’t spent centuries trying to stop our rivers flooding. An expanding population and a restriction on space have led to extensive developments on many floodplains, with flood defences creating complacency amongst homeowners. Where there is arable agriculture, a history of dredging and maintenance activites have made some farmers believe that rivers should not flood.

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