Nuclear explosives afford diverse tools for managing our water resources. These include principally: the rubble column of a fully contained underground detonation, the similar rubble column of a retarc, the crater by subsidence, the throwout crater of maximum volume (the latter either singly or in-line), and the ejecta of a valley-slope crater. By these tools, one can create space in which to store water, either underground or on the land surface - in the latter instance, to a considerable degree independently of the topography. Underground, one can accelerate movement of water by breaching a confining bed, a partition of a compartmented aquifer, or some other obstruction in the natural 'plumbing system'. Finally, on the land surface, one can modify the natural pattern of water flow, by canals excavated with in-line detonation. In all these applications, the potential advantage of a nuclear explosive rests chiefly in undertakings of large scale, under a consequent small cost per unit of mechanical work accomplished.
Piper, Arthur M 
- United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey (United States)