The USDA has announced an investment of $103 million for the recovery and rehabilitation of aging dams in the U.S. The program will cover problem areas in 19 states, with the hard-hit states of Texas, Mississippi and Utah receiving the most assistance for damage caused by 2015’s excessive rains and other natural disasters.
“The Emergency Watershed Protection program is vital to communities repairing damage and making improvements to reduce future damage from natural disasters,” Vilsack said. “Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $647 million to help local governments restore watersheds and protect communities from the aftermath of devastating natural disasters like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and fires and flooding in the Southwestern United States.”
Today’s announcement also includes $10.4 million in Watershed Rehabilitation Program funding to help communities rehabilitate aging dams that protect lives, property and infrastructure like drinking water in rural communities downstream. Of this, $4.8 million will be used in Texas to complete the design and construction of four watershed rehabilitation projects in Ellis and Williamson counties, and $3.7 will be used in Utah for the construction of a dam project in Gillespie County. About $500,000 will be used to assess up to 25 aging dams nationwide this year.
You can see the work being done by the USDA in conservation and forestry at https://medium.com/usda-results.