Orange County civil engineer Hasan Nouri is used to thinking big when it comes to everything from solving local sediment-flow problems to bringing lasting peace to his native Afghanistan. Tonight you can witness the Weekly's recent "War & Water" cover boy discussing how he would build an American icon, engineering masterpiece and eighth wonder of the world were he to start over from scratch.
No, not Madonna, silly. Hoover Dam!
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The National Geographic Channel's Man Made series presents "Hoover Dam Reinvented" at 8 p.m. Producers interviewed Nouri and other members of the American Society of Civil Engineers to discover what they would do the same and what they would do differently were they to build Hoover Dam knowing what they know today.
Nouri addressed that topic at October's H2O Conference in Long Beach, where he told an audience Southern California's drinking-water supply is being choked off at the dam due to the build up of sediments. "We must divert sediment," he said before advocating a strategy the Japanese developed at Asahi Dam, where a tunnel was constructed upstream in 1997 to capture sediment, snake it around the dam and dump it farther downstream.
Alerting us to tonight's show, Nouri said, "The design and construction of Hoover Dam took place at a time when we needed an economic stimulus project. We need similar projects now."
I'll drink to that.