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As the Cedar River rose higher and higher, and as he stacked sandbags along the levee protecting downtown Cedar Falls, Kamyar Enshayan, a college professor and City Council member, kept asking himself the same question: "What is going on?"
The river would eventually rise six feet higher than any flood on record. Farther downstream, in Cedar Rapids, the river would break the record by more than 11 feet.
Enshayan, director of an environmental center at the University of Northern Iowa, suspects that this natural disaster wasn't really all that natural. He points out that the heavy rains fell on a landscape radically reengineered by humans. Plowed fields have replaced tallgrass prairies. Fields have been meticulously drained with underground pipes. Streams and creeks have been straightened. Most of the wetlands are gone. Flood plains have been filled and developed.
"We've done numerous things to the landscape that took away these water-absorbing functions," he said. "Agriculture must respect the limits of nature."
Originally posted by Animal
Now I am not claiming to have an answer to this problem I just want to point out the fact that there is a problem. While I am also what tends to be labeled as 'tree huggin' dirt worshiper' I am also a designer by trade and therefore in every problem I see the opportunity for solutions.