The End of the River by Simon Winchester
eBook review copy; 44 pages
The End of the River by Simon Winchester is a recommended
short treatise on the seemingly impossible future challenge of
controlling the path of the Mississippi River as it rolls to the Gulf by
The Mississippi is the third largest river in the world and ends up
moving two-thirds of the watershed of the continental USA down to the
Gulf. It is the most commercially active river on the planet. The
struggle to control and tame the mighty Mississippi has been an ongoing
effort for years and, in many ways is an impossible herculean task that
never should have been undertaken. At this point in history the
structures built to contain and control the river were made half a
century ago and are inadequate to deal with a river that no longer
resembles the one from years past.
Winchester covers the history of the methods of control, the
structures built, and the looming environmental and human disaster that
awaits due to changing weather patterns. "The ultimate problem for these
structures relates not so much to their
engineering shortcomings as to one simple reality: They were designed
half a century ago, and were made to try to deal with a river that
barely resembles its current incarnation, and to function in an
environment that is also now drastically and unrecognizably different."
My review copy was courtesy of Scribd.