Apr 9, 2009
Is your local river among those flowing merrily along, or is its health threatened by development plans? A conservation group has issued a new report ranking the 10 rivers most at risk this year of becoming flooded or their habitats threatened because of industrial activity.
American Rivers, a Washington. D.C.–based organization, ranked the rivers based not on how polluted they are, but whether they're imminently threatened by development plans, mines or dams.
Topping the list is the Sacramento–San Joaquin river system, which flows from the eastern Pacific Coast Ranges to the western Sierra Nevada before emptying into California's San Francisco Bay. The group warns that a levee failure there could jeopardize the water supply of the 25 million people who depend on it (by making the water too salty to drink). In addition, it says that pumps that feed the water supply have reversed the rivers' natural flow, causing fish populations to decline.
Jan 28, 2009 | 12
The nation's roads, bridges, levees, schools, water supply and other infrastructure are in such bad shape that it would take $2.2 trillion over five years to bring them up to speed. But even that huge chunk of change would only raise their grade from a "D" average to a "B," according to the latest "Report Card for America's Infrastructure" released today by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
"We've been operating on a patch-and-pray system," says ASCE President D. Wayne Klotz. That is, patch something and pray that it holds up—instead of providing regular improvements for aging facilities.
Like a car, he notes, if you keep skipping oil changes and ignoring the funny clanking noise, it's going to be a lot more expensive to fix the major problems happen down the proverbial road. In fact, the current estimate of $2.2 trillion is 70 percent more than the $1.8 trillion the ASCE estimated it would cost to bring the U.S. infrastructure up to par four years ago. And the D grade has remained the same.
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
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