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Harold Schoeffler,

Schoeffler talks hydrology with Crowley Rotarians

The world would seemingly be a much simpler place in many ways if common sense would prevail.
Case in point, suggestions on how to improve Louisiana’s water management systems.
Harold Schoeffler, who has served as the chair of the Acadiana Group Sierra Club of Lafayette since 1974, recently joined with several others to visit the many sites effected by the historic flood of August 2016 to take a deeper look at the state’s hydrology.
Hydrology is the branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth’s water, especially its movement in relation to land, and in Louisiana, there are many different ways that movement is being altered by man-made devices that could be hurting many areas when those large rainstorms come.
August’s flood was an eye-opener for many, but even still the numbers behind that flood continue to shock many.
Schoeffler, who spoke to the Rotary Club of Crowley Tuesday as part of its weekly lunchtime meeting, explained that while some water ways only saw modest increase, others were nearly triple that amount. The Vermilion River, for example took 30 days to get out of its flood stage.
The comparisons on the water levels of some Louisiana’s waterways in the thick of the flood is as astounding as it is telling. And, it lends itself perfectly to Schoeffler’s point.
“We can manage the water better,” he said.
The fixes are plentiful, according to Schoeffler, and after he and several others took “field trips” to the effected areas, they have suggestions to fix these issues. But, like most things, the ideas, while not overly costly do take funding.
But, that’s where the eye-opening part comes into play and, for once, timing may be on that right side of things. What is needed now is funding studies and surveys of computer modeling to see if some of the proposed plans would in fact make an impact. That would include utilizing existing technologies and take roughly $1 million to do. The question is, of course, where to find $1 million in a state facing a budget crisis for another year, the answer may come from things like emergency funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other federal funding.
The hope is, however, that the state can, in fact, get those funds and use at least some of them to fund these studies and prevent more flooding disasters like last year’s.

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