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It has been awhile since I posted on the Logan Northern Canal disaster which occurred on July 11th. That is because nothing has been happening. It does not appear that state or local authorities have been doing much of anything to address the problems with Logan Northern Canal, or the approximate 6,000 miles of other canals in the state. There is a chance that may change but don’t hold your breath.

An initiative was unveiled yesterday that is aimed at identifying "high hazard" areas of the canals. The idea is to correlate information already in databases maintained by the state Division of Water Resources with that of water conservation districts and others entities to "profile" trouble zones where failures can occur. Areas of particular interest will be canals in population centers, soil profiles that can indicate trouble, troubling slope profiles, and deteriorating infrastructure. After the relevant data is gathered, the canals will be physically inspected to determine if the data translates to actual hazards. In areas where it does, the idea is to develop risk management plans to address the hazards.

This all sounds good, but the question is whether the will is really in place to make this happen so the appropriate resources will be committed to make it happen. One estimate is that the state will have to commit approximately $200,000 over the next few years to move the initiative along. In these trying financial times, it will be interesting to see if the legislature commits that money to make it happen.

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