Friday, March 19, 2010

On Ridiculousness

There is a dam in Morocco, built by the French many years ago. Behind it is a reservoir whose water is stored up from the winter rains to irrigate the summer fields. Next to the reservoir is a small city on the road that run’s the valley’s length. Both the road and the city predate the dam.
Because of unique engineering, the high water line of the dam is actually above the level of the road. Which means that it is possible to fill the dam to the point where the road becomes submerged. This odd situation occurs only rarely, during wettest weeks of a strong rainy season.

Last week was one of those weeks.

To unsubmerge the road and restore access to the city the reservoir releases precious water. This means putting more water into the river downstream. The road downstream, which also predates the dam was built, like many roads are, along the course of the river.

I hope you see where this is going.

Last week, not only was the road upstream of the dam flooded, but so was the road downstream, as they tried to lower the water level while opposed by heavy rain. This made traveling in the area quite impossible until the rain stopped and the roads dried.

Consequently, the French might not be held in the highest regard in this particular valley.

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