USDA to repair dams in 26 states through watershed rehabilitation funding

Sponsored by


PERRY, OK, July 21, 2014 --The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that communities across the U.S. will receive a $262-million investment to rehabilitate dams that provide critical infrastructure and protect public health and safety. This funding will provide rehabilitation assistance -- planning, design or construction -- for 150 dams in 26 states.

In addition, 500 dam sites will also be assessed for safety through NRCS' Watershed Rehabilitation Program (for a complete list of the projects, click here). The projects were identified based on recent rehabilitation investments and the potential risks to life and property if a dam failure occurred. Overall, an estimated 250,000 people will benefit as a result of improved flood protection made possible by these rehabilitated dams.

The 2014 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Obama earlier this year, increased the typical annual investment in watershed rehabilitation by almost 21 fold, recognizing the critical role of these structures in flood management, water supply and agricultural productivity. Earlier last week, he discussed the importance of infrastructure to job creation and commerce, noting that "Funding infrastructure projects helps our families, it fuels our economy, and it better positions America for the future."

From the 1940s through the 1970s, local communities using NRCS assistance constructed more than 11,800 dams in 47 states. These watershed management projects provide an estimated $2.2 billion in annual benefits in reduced flooding and erosion damages, and improved recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat for an estimated 47 million Americans.

For example, Watershed Dam No. 62 in the Upper Black Bear Creek Watershed of Noble County, Okla., will be included in a USDA-funded rehabilitation partnership project. Currently awaiting rehabilitation design, the dam provides protection against flooding to about 550 Oklahomans who live and work downstream.

Additionally, the dam protects seven county roads, one state highway, two U.S. highways, and an interstate highway that, together, support about 16,200 vehicles daily. Among other critical infrastructure, the dam also protects power lines and railroad tracks. The rehabilitation project is expected to provide about $7.5 million in benefits including flood damage reduction, water supply and recreational benefits.

See also:

"Dam Safety Lessons Learned from Colorado's Recent Floods"

"June marks 50th anniversary of two major MT dam failures"

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Atmospheric releases of BPA could contaminate surface waters, research finds

Researchers from the University of Missouri and U.S. Geological Survey have assessed water quality near industrial sites in the state of Missouri that are permitted to release Bisphenol-A into the air.

MO city sets deadline to settle CWA violations at wastewater treatment plant

The city of Granby, Mo., has agreed to an administrative civil settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency that requires the city to take a series of actions by July 2018 to correct several Clean Water Act violations related to the operation of its wastewater treatment plat.

Reclamation to invest $50M for water savings in West; WaterReuse applauds efforts

As part of the Obama Administration's effort to bring relief to western communities impacted by drought, the Bureau of Reclamation will invest nearly $50 million to support 64 projects that involve improving water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other western states.

Crude oil spill contaminates Santa Barbara beach; cleanup efforts underway

On Wednesday, May 20, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County due to the effects of a major crude oil spill that occurred early Tuesday near Refugio State Beach, located 20 miles west of Santa Barbara, California

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA