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An Ounce of Prevention (Editorial)

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Last week, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued an executive order calling for a comprehensive analysis and update of the Arkansas Water Plan — which sounds boring until it’s not.

It’s not boring when your city can’t provide your home or business with reliable drinking water. And it’s not boring when a levee fails and your farmland, business or residence is covered by floodwaters, as happened in 2019 with historic flooding along the Arkansas River that caused more than $3 billion in damage.

Arkansas Business’ Lara Farrar last week reported on the state’s levee infrastructure and what challenges remain in making sure it can withstand increasingly severe flood events. In 2019, then-Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed a levee task force, which at the beginning of 2020 issued a report that made 17 recommendations to improve levee oversight.

Farrar found that the problems with the state’s levee infrastructure that became apparent after the 2019 floods are still problems, and it’s not clear how many of the recommendations from the task force have been implemented.

Perhaps, with Sanders’ order, some of these issues will be addressed. When government works as it should, it can be boring. There’s a lot to be said for boring.

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