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Apr 08 2013

A Few Good Reads (4/8/13): The Aftermath of Flooding in Argentina

This week: The aftermath of flooding in Argentina, prevention, protection, and preparedness from/for floods in Netherlands vs the United States, sandless sandbags, the cost of dredging, and how Fort Collins’ water supply is vulnerable to a wild fire around Grand Lake.

Argentina floods caused $5b in damage

Argentina floods caused $5b in damage (The Nation)

Several days after the disaster, officials on Sunday were continuing to distribute water, food, clothing and medicine to those in need. The storms drenched Buenos Aires Monday into Tuesday, then dumped a staggering 40 centimeters (16 inches) of rain fell on La Plata during a two-hour period one day later, knocking out phone and power lines and leaving about half the city in the dark.Flood waters reached two meters (seven feet) in some places, turning roadways into raging rivers.

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Photos: Flooding in Argentina (Denver Post)

Storms damaged property and vehicles, cut power and caused flight delays in Buenos Aires and its suburbs.

Dutch Concept of Multi-Layered Safety: (I) Prevention, (II) Protection, (III)

Multiple Layers of Safety in the Netherlands and United States (The Water Away)

Our research question: in a given flood-prone region in the United States and the Netherlands, what determines the relative level of investment in prevention, protection, and preparedness, and why?

Floodsax

Sandless sandbags could be flood-fighting wave of future (Winnipeg Sun)

The sacks weigh only 200 grams (seven ounces) before being activated. Their semi-porous inner liner contains a gelling polymer that absorbs water and wood fiber, and can absorb up to 45 pounds of fresh water within five minutes. They last for three months once activated and are 100% bio-degradable.

Rocky Barker: Warmer climate will put more mud in Snake River (Idaho Statesman)

As I reported earlier, groups seeking removal of the four lower Snake Dams are using this process to push their point that dam removal is better not only for salmon, but also for the region’s economy. That issue has hung more on the power production from the dams than the economic value of the ports, which have always been heavily subsidized.

The latest proof is an excellent story by Forbes reporter Christopher Helman, “On The Mississippi, An Industry Is Floating On Taxpayer Money.” He calls the barge companies and their customers beneficiaries of “corporate welfare” – an assessment that is just as applicable to the Snake River as it is the Mississippi.

“Washington picks up more of the cost of riverborne shipping than any other type of logistics enterprise in the U.S. except, perhaps, resupplying the International Space Station,” Helman writes.

Fort Collins water vulnerable to possible Grand Lake firestorm (Coloradoan)

The High Park Fire forced Fort Collins to change how it treats Poudre River water, an increased cost that was factored into a 4 percent water rate increase that took effect earlier this year.

But how much more it would cost Fort Collins to treat fire-contaminated water from both the Poudre River and the C-BT system depends on more factors than the city can calculate today, said Kevin Gertig, Fort Collins water treatment manager.

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