The US is currently experiencing a necessity for a wave of restorative projects with the nation’s dams also in increasing need of rehabilitation.
It has been estimated by the US Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) that more than US$70 billion will be required for dam restoration.
Across the US there are more than 90,000 dams and of those that are in need of repair, Non-federal dams are expected to require US$60.7 billion in funding.
The Non-federal high-hazard dams, needing to be addressed in the near future, are estimated to make up US$20.42 billion – that’s an increase of US$1.71 billion from 2016.
In terms of the restoration for federally owned dams, an estimate in the region of US$4.8 billion has been considered.
The ASDSO has said that an important step towards reducing these costs is creating and supporting funding assistance by the federal government and individual states.
Currently, lack of funding for dam upgrades is a serious national problem, especially within the private sector.
Unlike most infrastructure facilities, the majority of dams in the US are privately owned, leaving owners solely responsible for financing dam upkeep and upgrades.
Without proper maintenance, repair and rehabilitation, the dams may become unable to serve their intended purpose and could be at risk for failure.
If vital maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation is delayed, the costs of such projects will only continue to rise.