American Thinker: Having written extensively in these pages (read here, here, and here) on the catastrophic flooding of the Missouri River basin in 2011, I believe that the occasion of this present flood disaster plaguing Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota has given rise to many questions. Foremost, I have been asked if there is an environmentalist element, as there was in 2011, when the Corps of Engineers intentionally permitted the flooding of eight states in order to further their highest priority (as per the Master Water Control Manual) of “habitat restoration for riverine wildlife” at the expense of the original top priority, flood control, and the preservation of human life and property.
Green “deism” does play a role in our current woes, but not as directly as it did in 2011. More of a “Best supporting Actor,” in this case.
The Master Water Control Manual is the bible of the Missouri River basin dam system. It defines the duties and protocols to be followed in order to best meet the various needs represented in the list of priorities.
From the completion of the dam construction (in 1967) until 2004, the Master Water Control Manual listed the priority functions in order of importance, with flood control being number one.
1) flood control
2) irrigation and upstream beneficial uses
3) downstream water supply
4) navigation and power
5) recreation and wildlife
In 2004, under pressure from environmentalist organizations who had been lobbying hard for the previous decade, Congress approved a revision to the manual that no longer specifically prioritized the uses of the system, leaving the order of the functions to the discretion of the Corps of Engineers.
The previous list was then essentially upended, with wildlife (habitat restoration, preservation, and imitation of natural cycles) becoming the top priority, and all the others swapping places back and forth depending on the year.
Flood control slipped lower and lower on the ladder as the Green movement grew in strength, demanding a return to the “wild rivers” that, in their sainted opinions, man should have never attempted to control. more here