Thursday, June 11, 2015

Diversions, letter to the editor

So, the Front Range is scaremongering again. Let us suck the water out of  the high country rivers or you will drown in a flood… like Sodom and Gomorrah… oh wait that was brimstone and fire…  it's so difficult to keep track of disastertopia. 

Sure diversions are something we've done a lot so why not just keep doing what we have been doing all along. 

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

"Dewatering" will not protect you from floods. In fact it will likely increase the severity and devastation. Here's the way it works- you diminish stream flow which deprives the stream banks of water. 

The riparian areas on the stream bank die of thirst. You're left with rocky stream banks and the water runs more swiftly and cuts deeper and deeper until you have a rocky channel or a desert wash. 

 This is a vicious circle- the stream gets rockier and deeper the banks disappear the "micro burst" events become tidal waves. The way to stop this isn't dams or "dewatering" it's rehabilitation of the stream bed and it's banks. Think of each riparian area along the river as a sponge. 

Think of each bend in the river as it's own little "S" curve slowing  the flow and creating one  emergency overflow pond after another.  

You want to really create some flood protection? Stop shooting beavers, 

put the water into the soil, let it flow to the sea,  (Delta Dawn thank you Peter McBride) support the natural systems which work just fine as long as we don't' try and "improve" them and tell the Front Range to vote *yes* on those rain barrels so that the rain they're wasting down the storm drain can feed their precious front lawns.

I wish that the City of Aspen and Pitkin County  would start  implementing Bill Zeedyk  (yes that link will get you to the book) and Van Clothier's induced meandering restoration methods. It would be in Ski-Co's best interest as well- after all what are we without all that "man made"  snow?