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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Need for dam still subject to debate

September 3, 2006

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Video

Slideshow history of Clinton Reservoir. Enlarge video

Many people feel that the advantages of Clinton dam outweigh its disadvantages; although some would argue that these advantages do not completely justify the dam's construction.

"When you compare the uses of Clinton dam to some of the other dams in the state, you see that, yes, Clinton dam serves a purpose to the community," Rex Buchanan, associate director of public outreach for the Kansas Geological Survey, said. "Without the dam, we lose a lot of our ability to control floods, which is why we built it in the first place."

However, Donald Worster, a professor of history at the University of Kansas who has written several books about the American West and water policy, argues that trying to control nature is not right. "By blocking the Wakarusa River we are changing the ecology of the entire area," he said.

According to Worster, if there were a strong flood zone plan in place, there would be no need for the dam. "If you build in the flood plain, you should expect floods," he said. Worster said that it was hard to quantify people's need for boating and fishing when it is weighed against the plight of those farmers who had to move. Worster also said that the dam is only a temporary solution.

"The dam is filling up with deposits of sedimentation faster than expected. Eventually there will be no lake, just a big mud pool."

Comments

classclown 7 years, 7 months ago

Where can I get some dam bait?

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