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Corps as “good guys” in Mississippi River drought dispute

January 8, 2013Patrick NunnallyRiversComments Off on Corps as “good guys” in Mississippi River drought dispute

The Army Corps of Engineers is not used to being in the position of “good guys,” but their comments in this Washington Post article appear to be the reasonable ones in the dispute.

No one disputes that the Mississippi River’s water level is dropping due to the historic drought that is gripping the middle of the continent.  Shipping industry organizations, though, argue that the response should be to do whatever is necessary, and spend whatever money is available, to ensure that the river is the “deepest, safest channel” for moving goods.

The Corps agrees, but only to a point, mindful that it has a mandate to try to manage the Mississippi and the system of rivers that feed it, for multiple uses.

I’ve written elsewhere about this business of seeing the Mississippi as a system for humans to manage, so I won’t go there now.  Suffice it to say, it will be an interesting few weeks as the river continues to drop.

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