Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: My Fascination With Flood Control

Most of my water journalism involves the supply side, but this week I indulged my fascination with the back end of the problem – moving it away from the places we don’t want it (sub/ad req):

The southwest valley is one of three large areas in the Albuquerque metro area where government agencies working on flood control problems continue to grapple with storm water risks.

The problems do not come from the Rio Grande itself, which is largely confined by levees and earthen banks through the metro area. While officials do have some concerns about risks in some areas from a massive river flood, they say the chances of such an event are small.

But areas of the valley floor outside the river levees have the opposite problem. Much of the area lies below the river itself in elevation. Rainfall, especially during summer thunderstorms, tends to pool in low areas because it has no place to go. Such flooding is much more common.