NET News Statewide: River Battle, 1/4/02
January 9, 2002
For years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has managed the flow of the Missouri River. Six dams in Montana, the Dakotas and Nebraska hold water and release it according to Corps of Engineers plans. The stretch of river on Nebraska’s eastern border is managed to provide flood control and a deep enough channel for commercial navigation. But those goals may change. The Corps of Engineers is nearing the end of a process that’s taken several years. They’re considering several changes, but the most significant for Nebraskans deals with stretch of river downstream from Gavins Point Dam. Currently, they try to keep the flow of the river steady, at a level high enough to allow tug boats to pull barges during the spring through the fall. They may release more water in the spring. That means a higher river level. In the summer, the river would recede to low levels as less water is released from the dam. As “Statewide’s” Brad Penner reports, it’s a significant change that has a lot of folks taking sides in a battle over the river.
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