July 29, 2010

On Saturday, Iowa’s Maquoketa River 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 it's a symptom of a bigger problem: America's 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. 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 Whitewater, Save Our Wild Salmon, American Rivers--is to purge old an...

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