Published On: Fri, Jan 29th, 2016

New York Is Going to Turn Off Niagara Falls. Here’s How

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SOMETIME WITHIN THE next five to seven years, a section of Niagara Falls will go dry. This isn’t a case of the great western drought creeping east, but rather New York’s plan to, for lack of a better term, turn off the famed waterfall. The most astonishing part of the whole idea is that it’s not nearly as crazy, difficult, expensive, or novel as it may sound.

There’s an official, underwhelming word for the procedure: dewatering. And it’s been done before. The American Falls section of the continent’s greatest water feature was dammed for about five months in 1969 so engineers and researchers could study erosion of the bedrock. Horseshoe Falls, the much larger section that’s mostly in Canadian territory, wasn’t affected then, and won’t be this go-around, either. The blockage was billed as a once in a lifetime event, sparking a surge of tourists eager to gape at the novelty of the craggy, usually submerged floor and the 70-to-100-foot-tall stone cliff over which millions of gallons of water usually plummet every hour. Now, it’s happening again.

Niagara Falls sits as the western edge of New York, on the Canadian border. The Niagara River connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and about halfway between the two, drops more than 100 feet. There are actually three distinct waterfalls. On the western, Canadian side of Goat Island is Horseshow Falls, is the massive one, the 165-foot drop that accounts for about 85 percent of the river’s flow. On the US side of the island are the smaller American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Read the full story at Wired, by Eric Adams

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