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Floridian Theatrum Machinarum

An über hydromechanical complex is set to rise in the Everglades when “engineers next month will begin building one of the world's largest manmade reservoirs - the size of a small city - as efforts continue to restore natural water flow to the Everglades,” the Associated Press via Wired News reports.

The “flagship” project of a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar wetland restoration initiative, this staggeringly huge theatrum machinarum, “roughly 25 square miles in area, is set for completion in 2010. It will hold 62 billion gallons of water, equivalent to about 5.1 million residential swimming pools, and will be seven miles across at its widest point.”

It's so vast, in fact, that it will lower water levels at the much, much bigger Lake Okeechobee. And “when you stand on one side of this reservoir, you will not see the other side.”

Moreover, “most reservoirs are built amid mountains and valleys or where a natural water source feeds the pool. In this case, 30 million tons of earth will be dug from flat land and surrounded by a 26-foot high, 21-mile long levee, making it larger than any other reservoir not connected to a natural source.”


If you are as thoroughly fascinated in wetlands and wetland restorations as we are, make sure you stop by the South Florida Water Management District. To simultaneously satisfy your inner civil engineer and verify that the whole thing isn't merely Michael Heizer recreating Tenochtitlan, you can download all manner of plans and reports at Acceler8. But make sure you read the article though.

Notes on Some Selections from the Visual Images Database of the Mississippi Valley Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Alexander Trevi
  • July 25, 2006 at 1:41:00 PM CDT
  • And if you're also fascinated with hydrological bureaucracy: Senate Passes Water Projects Bill, Adds New Reviews for Corps Projects.

    "The largest item in the measure, approved July 19 on a voice vote, is a $3.8-billion package of projects for the upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway. That includes $1.8 billion for seven new, 1,200-foot-long locks on the rivers and $1.6 billion for a variety of environmental restoration work."

  • Geoff Manaugh
  • July 25, 2006 at 4:46:00 PM CDT
  • Also: some cool maps of the lower Miss. Third Delta Conveyance channel. They just can't stop themselves... It must be a human reaction to fractal geometry. You gotta fuck with it.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • July 26, 2006 at 4:41:00 PM CDT
  • That first article on ENR is now pay-per-view. This one on NYT is still free of charge.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • July 26, 2006 at 4:44:00 PM CDT
  • July 20, 2006

    Senate Backs New Controls for Projects by Engineers

    WASHINGTON, July 19 — The Senate voted Wednesday to put new controls on water projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, with proponents of the legislation repeatedly citing the experience of New Orleans, where corps-designed levees and waterways failed to protect the city from Hurricane Katrina.

    The legislation, an amendment to a measure authorizing new corps projects, calls for the creation of independent panels of scientific and economic experts with authority to weigh in on projects under consideration by the corps. A decision to ignore the panel’s advice could be used against the corps in legal proceedings.

    Flood control, navigation and environmental restoration projects costing $40 million or more, or particularly controversial projects, would be subject to such review under the amendment, which passed the Senate 54 to 46.

    A companion amendment, intended to create an interagency panel to recommend priorities among competing projects, failed by a vote of 19 to 80.

    Despite the resounding defeat of the second measure, environmental groups hailed the new requirements for independent review as a first step in what they see as needed reform. The new controls were attached to a $11.6 billion measure that adds scores of new projects on the corps’ to-do list. The basic authorization for the water projects, often attacked as pork-barrel projects with little national significance passed on a voice vote Wednesday evening.

    “New Orleans was betrayed by the corps and its friends in Congress,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said during the debate Wednesday afternoon, citing the collapse of levees that were constructed on a base of sinking soil that weakened them. “The record of the Corps of Engineers cries out for independent review,” added Mr. McCain, who sponsored the amendment with Senator Russ D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin.

    The amendment had been opposed by many farm-state senators, like Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who warned that the new process might slow projects crucial to the transportation of corn, soybeans and other crops to ports and to world markets. Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, warned that the new review panels would be taken over by special interests who, he said, “would be determined to undo projects for other reasons, policy reasons.”

    He said the Senate should not “be handing government functions over to some unelected commission.”

    This week, the White House budget office criticized the overall authorization measure for including projects outside the agency’s basic mission, despite an existing backlog of work that, in total, would cost $58 billion.

    The water projects bill, the first since 2000, gives the government the authority — but not the money — to underwrite projects including a $3.4 million improvement of the locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and $1.5 billion for ongoing restoration of the Everglades.

    The House passed a similar bill a year ago, before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita laid waste to the Gulf Coast.

    Mr. Bond and Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, had sought to circumvent the creation of the independent review panels by offering a separate amendment, setting the threshold for review at $100 million instead of $40 million and giving the top official of the corps discretion to decide that a review might not be necessary. That amendment failed, 49 to 51.

    Malia Hale, director of national restoration and water resources for the National Wildlife Federation, praised the Senate action on independent review as a response “to many of the things that arose with Hurricane Katrina.” She added that the underlying bill “has a lot of unnecessary pork but a lot of good things, like Everglades restoration.”

  • Anonymous
  • July 30, 2006 at 3:48:00 AM CDT
  • Dear admin,

    There are a few purposes of writting to You. I am very interested in Your blog address. I want to ask You to concede Your blog address. ''Why do I ask Your address?'' - because I am going to build one site(about cars) on Your blog's address. This site will be quite popular with about 10, 000 unique visitors from USA per day (I know, because I found one niche in the Internet and in order to make use of it I very need address). What benefit will You get after You concede me Your address? - in my new site I would insert an advertisement of Your site(whatever You want) plus in a new site on Your old address I could write something like this: ''The old site moved to The new site is about cars''. Therefore You will get about 100-200 new unique visitors to Your site per day from Yours advertisement at new site plus You don't lose Your old visitors. So, I plead You, concede address to me(just address, not the blog) to make absolute use of it.In addition, for conceded Your blog address You will get domain name ending with .com, .net , .org, .info, .biz for free for Your new blog address(for example For more information send me an e-mail to .

    Waiting for Your answer (please answer me, suggest Your rules, just say ''NO'', if You are not interested, but closely think, because I win but You win too).

    Thank You for Your understanding and time.

    Yours faithfully, Subfor Subforini

  • Geoff Manaugh
  • July 30, 2006 at 8:43:00 AM CDT
  • Sounds tempting, Alex.

  • some lo-cale loser
  • July 31, 2006 at 7:47:00 AM CDT
  • I'm trying to imagine an association between "cars" and "pruned." I know that tricked out asian street rods are called "tuners," but that's about it. Maybe a pruned car has had all it's protruding parts chopped off- hood ornament, tailpipe, side mirrors, trailer hitch, antennae. Or maybe there's a purply-brown paint color that's all the rage?

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