The damage to the dam holding back a reservoir just a mile from the nearest town downriver should focus minds on ensuring civil infrastructure is maintained.
At a time when storms are becoming more frequent and severe, relying on levees for flood control can create as many problems as it solves.
Thousands of hydropower dams are under construction around the world. New research shows that by cutting off sediment flow, these dams can have big ecological effects on far-off bays and deltas.
A barrier just 50km wide might stop water-reliant cane toads in their tracks.
The tailing dam collapse at the Brumadinho mine has shocked the world, but can we really be sure that 'never again' truly means never again?
There are benefits and downsides to damming rivers.
Nearly 1,800 Brazilian dams are at risk of failure, according to the government. Fixing them is expensive – but ignoring aging dams can have considerable social, economic and environmental costs.
Brazil's new president could clear the way for plans to develop remote areas around the Tapajos River basin over the objections of the indigenous people who live there.
In countries like South Africa which has a big and robust mining sector, tailings need to be managed with extra care.
Standing 240m tall, the Statue of Unity celebrates India's development. But jarringly, it towers over a divisive and environmentally damaging dam project.
When a dam comes down this fall, a team of scientists will be there to track the environmental changes.
Taking millions of gallons of water permanently out of the Colorado River amid a prolonged drought would surely start an interstate fight.
In periods of water stress, farmers need support, research assistance and empathy from governments and competing water users.
The history of the rubber 'boom' reveals why.
The situation in Perth in particular has some parallels to that of Cape Town, but Australian cities responded to the last big drought by investing in much bigger water supply and storage capacity.
Many countries in eastern and southern Africa rely on hydropower for electricity generation and there are plans for several more dams.
The region relies on seasonal flooding, yet energy demand is year-round.
Constructing large dams can provide much needed electricity for Myanmar. But this can also threaten the livelihoods of millions.
As Houston continues to rescue residents whose homes were ruined, it also begins to deal with issues related to contaminated floodwaters and overflowing reservoirs. It won't be easy.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives US infrastructure a D+. What is it that we're doing wrong?