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Nature’s Fortune by Jonathan Adams, Mark Tercek

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3

Let Floodplains Be Floodplains

FARMERS SUCH AS THE CANE GROWERS IN THE CAUCA VALLEY AND city planners in Quito focus their conservation efforts on the challenge of too little water. Climate change, however, leads others to face exactly the opposite problem.

In autumn 2010, I traveled to Iowa, a state that knows all too well the devastation that too much water can cause. The Missouri River forms Iowa’s western border and the Mississippi its eastern, with many tributaries in between. In most years, at least one and often more of these rivers flood. In bad years the floods wash out roads and bridges, inundate cities and small towns, and drown crops and livestock. A coalition of unlikely collaborators—sportsmen, farmers, conservation organizations, ...

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