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Lessons learned during 10 years of rehabilitating NRCS-assisted watershed

Caldwell, Larry W, Hunt, Sherry, Freeland, Joe D, Locke, Mark A, Moore, James, Burns, April
Dam Safety 2011. Proceedings of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials Annual Conference 2011 pp. 22
Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, dams (hydrology), floods, funding, issues and policy, laws and regulations, recreation, watersheds, wildlife, United States
It has been over a decade since Congress passed the Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 83-566). This legislation authorized the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide technical and financial assistance to watershed project sponsors for the rehabilitation of their aging dams. Through the USDA Watershed Programs, the NRCS, working with local project sponsors, has constructed more than 11,400 dams across the United States. Many of these dams are now reaching the end of their 50-year design life. Rehabilitation of these dams will ensure they remain safe and continue to provide flood control, recreation, and wildlife benefits for another 50 to 100 years. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in support of the Watershed Programs, has provided invaluable research that has resulted in more hydraulically efficient and safer dams. This paper documents the cooperative efforts that resulted in the enactment of the legislation, the development of the new program policy, the appropriations provided, program accomplishments, related ARS research efforts, and the lessons learned during the past 10 years of development and implementation of the USDA dam rehabilitation program.