Dam Rehabilitation Funding

Contents

Potential Sources of Funding for Dam Rehabilitation

Grants

Cost of Dam Rehabilitation


 

Potential Sources of Funding for Dam Rehabilitation

Some States offer assistance funding (loans or grants) to dam owners. Click on the US Map to find contact information for your state's dam safety office.

At the federal level there are a few mechanisms set up specifically for dam rehabilitation. The Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program focuses on funding rehabilitation of dams built by the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service). Click here for more information. In 2016, Congress passed the National Dam Rehabilitation Program Act. Sec. 5006 of WIIN2016 establishes a grant program to assist local communities to rehabilitate, repair, or remove a high-hazard potential dam before it fails. Watch this website for updates on implementation of this important program. Read More About the National Dam Rehab Program


 

Grants

Some programs exist, within FEMA or other state or federal agencies, and through private foundations, that may accept proposals for dam rehab funding.

Click here to read stories how others have funded dam rehabs.


 

Cost of Dam Rehabilitation

In 2001, an ASDSO task group was formed and tasked with preparing a report on the cost of rehabilitating our nation’s dams. In 2003 the committee issued a report entitled The Cost of Rehabilitating Our Nation’s Dams: A Methodology, Estimate and Proposed Funding Mechanisms. Based on the federal inventory of dams at the time and available cost data, the task group developed a methodology for estimating what funding would be needed to rehabilitate the nation’s non-federal dams. At the time the inventory included 65,000 such dams and it was estimated that $34 billion would be needed. Of the $34 billion, it was estimated that $10.1 billion would be needed for high hazard dams.

Over time, improved data collection and reporting has resulted in increased number of dams in the inventory. In 2009 and 2012, using the same methodology but updating the logic diagrams to account for the changing inventory numbers, inflation and percentage factors of deferred maintenance vs. non-deferred maintenance, hazard classification change and engineering assessment, the task group updated the costs.

Now, with the inventory expanding to over 87,000 non-federal dams, the task group once again is providing updated estimates of the cost of rehabilitating our nation’s dams. Current figures place the total cost estimated for non-federal dams at $60.70 billion, up from the last estimate of $53.69 billion. Non-federal, high-hazard potential dams are estimated at $18.71 billion, up from $18.18 billion. In the 2012 update, the cost of federally owned dams was also considered.

In the current update, it was estimated that $4.20 billion is needed to rehabilitate all federally owned dams with $2.93 billion of this attributed to the federally owned high hazard dams. Read the Report

Since 2004, an ASDSO task group has tracked dam rehabilitation cost as follows:

 

Year
Funding needs,
non-federal dams
Funding needs,
non-federal HH dams
2003
$34 billion
$10.1 billion
2009
$51.46 billion
$16 billion ($8.7b public, $7.3b private)
2012
$53.69 billion
$18.2 billion ($11.2b public, $7b private)
2016
$60.7 billion
$18.71 billion
2019
$65.89 billion
$20.42 Billion 
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