Wetworks – a History of Water Management in America

A civilization’s state of development is most often readily apparent in its buildings. The capacity for stepping beyond the limits of nature, and forging into the realm of modernity is enshrined in the time capsules that are major works of architecture and infrastructure. When historians and anthropologists trace the path from pre-historic societies to today, they invariably look to the quality and sophistication of their earth, stone, and rock monuments that serve as milestones in their journey to today. What has consistently stood out is the importance of water infrastructure in all great civilizations, from the flooded terraced farming techniques in Chinese rice fields to the Roman aqueducts. Upon examining America, one notices the astonishing amount of decay that has set in to its water management system, from municipal water contamination in Flint to the breaking of sewer lines in Seattle, raising the question if any of this will even be around to examine for future generations once the final proverbial dam breaks.


The Myth of the 20th Century – Episode 132 – Wetworks – a History of Water Management in America

— References —

– The great reconnaissance; soldiers, artists, and scientists on the frontier, 1848-1861, Wallace (1955)
– Dark Age Ahead, Jacobs (2004)
– Erin Brokovich, Soderbergh (2000)
– The Road Taken, Petroski (2016)
– Critical Infrastructure – Scale Up, Power Down, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/critical-infrastructure-scale-up-power-down/
– The Progressive Era – Roots of American Bureaucracy, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) – https://myth20c.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/the-progressive-era-roots-of-american-bureaucracy/
– American Society of Civil Engineers – America’s Infrastructure Report Card – https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

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