By reading this essay now, it is really well edited, not only in typographical terms (with numerous black and white pictures and hand-drawn color extracts, a fact not taken for granted at the time) but especially in technical terms.
Anyone with a little experience in water management in mountain and valley environments will understand what is reported here, which turns out to be thoroughly modern, although written more than a hundred years ago. Because when you think about it, everything technical that we still do today in our mountains has nothing really new. Sure, materials, construction techniques and supporting machinery change. Monitoring tools (practically nonexistent at the time) also change: think of new laser, remote sensing or integrated data collection technologies. But at the root of it all, the needs for our valleys, in terms of water-forest-human coexistence, are still the same.
Regarding the Faussimagna torrent (in the Cozie Alps, between Cuneo and Turin), the presentation of it, following a flood event that destroyed some villages along the valley, is of absolute simplicity and directness: “The King, in the aftermath of the tragic flood, rushed to the places devastated by the torrent. The citizens, appalled by the mourning of the frightful night, demanded the embankment of the Faussimagna […]. – We must reforest up there! – exclaimed the King, pointing to the high, bare cliff face of Mount St. Bernard. Such is in fact the only remedy: the ubertose plain, the safety of the settlements are not defended with the levees, which are too often impotent, but with the forest on the mountain”. However modern you may find in these words, remember that they are dated the year 1906!