From the Publisher
You would think that by now we would be used to this. It’s Mother Nature I’m talking about.
The snows came early this year, but I don’t think anyone expected the number or severity of the snowstorms we’ve had so far and, as of this writing, the weather forecasters tell us there’s still more to come. Compound this with the severe drought the Western part of the country is experiencing and this year will go down in history as one of the harshest to date, since the start of recordkeeping.
So, although the snow and ice storms came more frequently this year, it shouldn’t have been a surprise, just a reminder of the power of Mother Nature. After all, those of us who are in erosion control—the business of containing riverbanks, streams and lakes to prevent erosion—are well aware of the kind of damage nature can cause.
Enormous amounts of snow are on the ground; as this snow melts, how will it impact our rivers, streams and lakes? Will there be flooding? With this much water turbulence, how much erosion will it cause?
On the western side of the country, the drought has brought a sharp awareness of the problems we can expect to see this year. One of the bread-baskets of the United States is the San Joaquin Valley, where much of the specialty foods are grown. The growers there will be hard pressed to minimize their use of water, yet still produce the crops to help feed the people of this country.
The Pacific Northwest has been experiencing drought conditions, but then it began to rain, and the amount of rain that fell produced floods and caused severe damage. Talk about stormwater contamination; this was the perfect storm.
But as the season turns to spring, hopefully the weather will return to normal. Then we can proceed to do the work we were meant to do.