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think+water: Dam Failures, Lemon Water and Naturalized Flows

With 38 public universities and 35 private colleges and universities in the state and many more across the country (and the world) interested in Texas, there’s a great deal of academic scholarship focused on water in the Lone Star State. In this column, I provide brief summaries to several recent academic publications on water in Texas.

Dams are coming down, but not always by choice—The geography of Texas dams, dam failures, and dam removal

Dams have been key as flood protection and water supplies but are also controversial due to their environmental impacts. Dam-building also has a long history, so there’s a range of ages and, just like the rest of us, some dams age better than others. Dascher and Meitzen provide a comprehensive overview of dams and dam failures in Texas. They found that there are over 7,000 dams in Texas with 95% of them earthen and 59% of them privately owned. Governmental bodies own the large dams while private owners claim 79% of small dams and 55% of medium dams.

Read more from Dr. Robert Mace in this issue of Texas+Water here.