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When I was in Guam, someone proposed to build a golf course directly over the northern aquifer where Guam got most of its drinking water. When someone asked, "What about the fertilizers and herbicides you'll be using on the golf course? Won't that end up in the drinking water?" The response of government was, "We will lay down a sheet of plastic under the entire course, keeping all of that bad stuff out of the water."

I'll let you think for yourself about the potential problems and consequences of that on your own.

I bring this up because there is a proposal to start a rock quarry just outside of Nashville. The location was poorly selected, because it's very close (a couple hundred yards at most) to an earthen dam which holds Old Hickory Lake back from running down the Cumberland River.

In May 2010, a record amount of rain hit the Nashville area. The dam that holds Old Hickory Lake back was opened to "save" Nashville, because it was either open the dam to relieve the pressure, or let the dam fail and things would have been significantly worse. A good friend and former co-worker of mine lost her house in that flooding. Nashville was flooded to the tune (if you excuse the pun) of $2 Billion in damages.

Just think about the blasting that will have to happen to excavate the stone from that quarry. Each blast doesn't have to be much, it would be a cumulative effect. All it would take is a trickle of water at first, almost imperceptible. A drop a minute would lead quickly to a drop a second, then a steady stream and finally to complete failure of the dam. All of that could happen very quickly.

Old Hickory Lake is about 20,000 acres in size. Imagine if the dam fails and just the top 10 feet of water rushes down the Cumberland river. That's 8.7 million cubic feet or a bit over 65 billion gallons that would be in downtown Nashville about 10 minutes after the dam fails.

Catastrophic could not begin to describe the carnage and devastation. A failure of this dam could functionally wipe Nashville off the face of the earth.

Now, it may never happen. Are you willing to take that chance that it won't? Are you willing to bet the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people and $20+ Billion in damages on a hope and magical thinking that a failure of the dam won't happen? Would those making the decisions to move forward on this be willing to live on the banks of the Cumberland? I didn't think so.