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It seems that the time has come for us to cut our losses on the reservoir. As a civil engineer, I understand the benefits of having a reservoir, for recreation, water supply, and flood control. I also appreciate the immense effort that goes into designing, constructing, and maintaining dams. As a geologist, I understand that in the end, all reservoirs are doomed to failure, succumbing to the natural forces that created watercourses and canyons in the first place.
Consider that we really have no further need of the reservoir, as we have moved beyond the needs for which it was constructed in the first place.
In the case of the Los Alamos Reservoir, it has become clear that we are fighting a losing battle, and it is time to let it go. Rather than continuing to stuff money into the proverbial hole in the dike, we should focus the remaining budget for the project on making a graceful retreat. I suggest we dismantle what is left of the dam, and restore the canyon to a state where nature can finish the job and return the canyon to a natural state.
Such dam removals and restorations are proceeding around the country, and we should follow the that trend.
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