Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with societal, environmental, and other issues. Our student Ms. Junkins makes this connection here…

General Electric announced they are prepared for the second phase of dredging in their April 6, 2011 news article titled, “GE Selects Contractor for Hudson Dredging”.  GE has a website dedicated to the Hudson River Dredging Project.  This project is directly related to water resource engineering through the idea behind dredging.  Water resource engineering has a focus on working with water sources and improving their quality.  This dredging project is directed by the EPA to remove the PCB pollutants that GE dumped into the Hudson – see EPA’s story.  This project, along with any water resource engineering plan is important because it is a form of managing a water resource.  The Hudson is used for transportation, hydro power, aquatic life and recreation.  It must be maintained and not polluted in order to continue to provide its maximum benefits.  As stated in Water Resources Engineering (James and Wurbs, 2002), the “EPA’s mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment (air, water, and land) on which life depends.”  The dredging project monitored by the EPA has intentions to do so in the Hudson.  The article states that GE will embark in their “second and final stage” of the dredging.  This may not be true for removing the required amounts of PCB’s.  Weather inclination and “resuspension” of PCB’s will limit the dredging (EPA Hudson River PCB’s Superfund Site).  This proves that this may not be the final phase of GE’s Hudson River Dredging Project.

GE Image of dredging, from http://www.hudsondredging.com/

The WRE article shows connections with the societal and economical broader issues. In the societal context, the article explains that dredging will restart.  This project will directly impact the use of the river in conjunction with the visual exposure of the dredges to the local community members.  Economically, this article proves that companies are now being held financially responsible for their negative impact on the environment.  Water resource engineering is related for the management of the river as a resource and for environmental protection.  The PCB dredging project has and will continue to change human use of the river.  It also will impact the wild life surrounding the dredging and sediment processing facility.  Economically, General Electric is a large cooperation that is cleaning up the mess they made.  The EPA is monitoring their work to ensure quality, productivity and further environmental impacts that will follow the dredging (EPA Hudson River PCB’s Superfund Site).


EPA Hudson River PCB’s Superfund Site. (n.d.). Epa performance standards. Retrieved from http://www.hudsondredgingdata.com/Home/EPA

General Electric. (2011, April 6). Ge selects contractor for dredging project. The Hudson River Dredging Project. Retrieved from http://www.hudsondredging.com/2011/04/06/ge-selects-contractor-for-hudson-dredging/

James, W. P., & Wurbs, R. A. (2002). Water resources engineering. (p. 27). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.