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Rep. Collin Peterson, Washington, D.C., Published May 27 2013

Letter: Tiling can be good flood control tool

As usual in the Red River Valley this time of year, there was a lot of talk about the potential for spring flooding. There’s much discussion about the forecast accuracy and the area’s preparations for flooding. While the initial forecasts were worrisome, we’re fortunate that this year wasn’t as challenging as first predicted.

The minimal flooding we experienced this spring is due in large part to the dry weather we experienced through the fall, which left room for the moisture from the winter snow and spring rain. I believe that through modern, controlled tiling systems we can create the same situation Mother Nature did this past year.

Today’s tiling control structures give farmers the tools to control water, allowing them to move and store water as conditions change. Tiling not only helps farmers better manage their operation, it helps local communities reduce their flood risk. Local farmers who have made modern, controlled tiling part of their agriculture management plan have told me they’ve seen an increase in yields.

As spring turns to summer, there are sure to be more reviews of what was done right and what can be improved upon in the future. A valley-wide plan for flood control needs to use all the tools available to us, and I believe one of those options must be modern, controlled tiling.

Rep. Peterson, D-Minn., is ranking member on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.