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The importance of the USDA Small Watershed Program to the rural United States
- Hunt, Sherry L., Hanson, Gregory J., Temple, Darrel M., Caldwell, Larry
- Water resources impact 2011 v.13 no.6 pp. 9
- Natural Resources Conservation Service, agricultural programs and projects, control methods, erodibility, innovation adoption, rural areas, rural development, rural programs, seepage, soil erosion, vegetated waterways, watersheds, United States
- The Flood Control Act of 1944 and The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 granted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, formerly the Soil Conservation Service) the authorization to provide both financial and technical assistance for the construction of flood control measures. The flood control provided by the more than 11,000 dams constructed has impacted both agricultural production and rural development. Equally important have been the technological advances made in response to the engineering challenges associated with the design of safe, economical structures. Areas in which advances were made include the technology underlying design of vegetated channels and spillways, trash racks for closed conduit spillways, seepage diaphragms and barriers, and stepped spillways. Improved understanding of erosion processes and the development of tools to measure soil erodibility have led to advancements in dam breach technology. The infrastructure and technology developed as a result of the program continues to impact rural America as well as similar projects throughout the world.