Flooding of the Chagres River – Assignment Example

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The paper " Flooding of the Chagres River " is a perfect example of an assignment on environmental studies. The history and background of flooding of the Chagres River cannot be fully understood without going through the work of David McCullough “Path between the seas” (McCullough, 1979). The book’s main point was on flooding issues of the Chagres River in a lock system and the creation of a sea-level canal (Panama Canal). The construction of the Panama Canal was one of the most magnificent quests that history has ever known as events that led to the eventual construction of the canal took the dramatic turn. The waters from the Chagres River were used to drive the Panama Canal and there were problems that were caused by a flood in the Chagres River, but this problem was solved by the erection of the Gatun Dam (McCullough, 1979). The Chagres River had always experienced series of floods and it was the building of the Gatun Dam in the Panama Canal that helped put this flooding issue under check, though the region still experienced some flooding when the dam was under construction, this problem was solved after its completion. The flood caused by the instability of the Chagres River made the Panama waterways to be filled with mosquitoes and as a result, inhabitants of the region were in danger of being plagued with malaria or yellow fever; other epidemics like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, dysentery, and the bubonic plague broke out as a direct or indirect result of that flood. The French commenced the construction of the Canal in 1870, a project that they could not complete due to diseases and other things and the United States completed it in 1914 just before the First World War (McCullough, 1979). The lock canal was built about 85 feet above sea level by the Americans. The construction of the earthen dam, the locks and the ‘cut’ across the Chagres River helped solve the problem of flooding in the region (McCullough, 1979).



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