Have Flood Controls on the Mississippi River Been Successful?
ES1308  Introduction

Throughout history, humans have attempted to control the flow of rivers. Generally, living near a river means easy access to water for crops and human needs. However, living near a river can be quite a problem during a flood.

Every year, governments spend millions of dollars building dams, levees, and other structures to control or minimize the effects of floods, particularly along large rivers such as the Mississippi River. How effective are these efforts in controlling floods? To help you answer this question, you'll learn about floods and flood controls on the Mississippi River.

Charles Cummings Andrea Booher, FEMA
A trough on top of this Roman aqueduct in Israel transported river water to irrigate crops and for domestic use. Hundreds of volunteers filled sandbags in St. Genevieve, Missouri during flooding of the Mississippi River in 1993.
NOAA USGS
Farm buildings and equipment were surrounded by water during flooding of the Mississippi River near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Arizona provides flood control by holding back water that would otherwise move downstream.

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