A report by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) has estimated that $158bn is needed to fix the US’ non-federal dams, although this falls to $34bn if repairs are restricted to the most critical cases.
The spending estimates were based on dam rehabilitation costs over the past decade and the predicted costs for upcoming projects.
The ASDSO says the number of dams needing rehabilitation has increased as the identification of deficiencies outpaces the completion of projects.
Sharon Tapia, an ASDSO task force member, said: “To ensure the safety of our nation’s dams, we must maintain high funding levels.
“We cannot return to previous funding levels, typically less than 1% annually of the investment made in the bipartisan infrastructure act.”
The act was passed in 2021 and has provided $4bn in dam funding since, which the ASDSO says is insufficient.