The US Department of Agriculture announced on April 9th that it will be investing $73 million this year to rehabilitate and assess dams across the country in an attempt to make sure that this crucial infrastructure is protecting Americans from harm, securing public health and expanding water supplies in drought-affected areas.
An estimated 150 projects and assessments in 23 states will receive funding. The investment in the dams is intended to ensure a safe, resilient environment for agricultural producers and residents of rural America.
Water World reports:
“USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Assistant Chief Kirk Hanlin highlighted this round of watershed rehabilitation funding today near the city of Alpine, Utah, where work is planned on Tibble Fork Dam to increase the water supply and improve flood damage protection for surrounding communities. This project is one of 19 in Utah that will receive nearly $30 million in overall funding.
Last year, NRCS made changes to the Watershed Rehabilitation Program (WRP) to allow for projects that also help increase water supply. Half of this year’s dam assessments, including 15 in drought-stricken California, will assess the feasibility of using watershed rehabilitation funds to mitigate drought.”
This is good news for the 150 projects announced. There are nearly 12,000 dams across the United States.
With the management of dams and other critical assets – infrastructure asset management plans can be used to ensure sustainable long term management can be achieved.
As the USDA and other Federal and State authorities move to assist with the funding of infrastructure the use of water utility infrastructure management plans can also assist with the prioritization and allocation of scarce funding resources.
PHOTO CREDIT: CEBImagery via Flickr Creative Commons License