Governors of Missouri River states are meeting in Omaha today to talk about the way the Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri River. Governor Nixon is with them, hoping for some consensus although governors of upstream states and governors of downstream states have noisily disagreed about flood control and recreational uses of the river for years. But Nixon says this year’s top-to-bottom flooding is likely to bring some agreements that lean more toward flood control. He says the floods have shown upstream states ‘in a very real way” why upstream reservoirs were built.
As far as he’s concerned, it’s not a matter of finding a balance between recreational use of the reservoirs and flood control in Missouri and other downstream states. “The 1944 Flood Control Act was named the 1944 Flood Control Act,” he says.
Nixon says Corps policy needs to change to make sure flood control is the number one purpose of the reservoirs. He thinks the Corps can maintain lower levels in the reservoirs so they’ll keep more flood water out of the lower basin….
The Corps has indicated it needs to re-evaluate the long-held river flow standard and consider raising them as a way to determine how much space should be left in the reservoirs to hold upstream runoffs.