On Saturday, Iowa’s Maquoketa River replica Cartier Tank Solo watches washed away Lake Delhi dam, flooding some 50 homes and 20 businesses. It’s not surprising that an 83-year-old dam broke in a flood, but its a symptom of a bigger problem: Americas aging infrastructure. The average age of America’s 86,000 dams is 51, and the estimated price to repair just the high-hazard dams, or those near homes, is a staggering $16 billion. As for kayakers, who knows, the next Eric Jackson might be from Flint. If you’re interested in converting a backyard dam into a whitewater park, get in touch with Gary Lacy’s firm, Recreation Planning and Engineering.--Kyle Dickman
Don’t expect that investment to be made anytime soon (things like wars and unruly banks are demanding more of Washington’s attention), but until it is, more dams will break.One solution rightly being championed by enviros—American cartier Santos 100 Chronograph watches Whitewater, Save Our Wild Salmon, American Rivers--is to purge old and unproductive dams from the inventory, like Washington State did when they tore Hemlock Dam down last August. Check out Outsides July issue for coverage and this film for more info. Removal’s good for endangered fish and restores ecosystems, but it’s expensive, so relatively infrequent. Hemlock, just 26-feet tall, cost a cool $2.7 million to tear down.
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