What the Oroville Dam Disaster Says About America’s Aging Infrastructure

This past week, heavy winter rain caused a 250-foot-long section of northern California’s Oroville Dam’s principal spillway to collapse. In response, state officials began releasing water from an adjacent emergency spillway, leading to the unexpected and rapid erosion of the ground below and the evacuation of 180,000 residents from their homes.

What’s needed now is a massive investment in government infrastructure, bulking up agencies that maintain drinking and wastewater treatment and distribution systems, flood control, and transportation services. In the absence of additional spending, the combination of extreme weather events and population growth will lead to more system failures and congestion, as well as reduced prosperity for American workers and their families.

Forbes Magazine

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