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Watershed Dam Rehabilitation

Watershed Dam Rehabilitation pertains to the refurbishment and enhancement of dams that were originally constructed by the federal government in the 1950s-1980s for flood control purposes. These dams were subsequently entrusted to local drainage district commissioners for operation and maintenance. Given the passage of time, a significant number of these dams are now reaching the end of their designed lifespan, necessitating major repairs. Some dams even require upgrading to high hazard status due to changes in downstream infrastructure since their initial construction, or require general maintenance like levee repair, clearing, grubbing of the levees, and riser replacement. These dams retain their paramount importance for flood control across several regions in Mississippi, safeguarding the state's residents from potential flooding events.

Mississippi watershed effort

Dam Rehabilitation Process

The execution and completion of watershed rehabilitation fall under the joint efforts of various entities. In cases where specific watershed dams are earmarked by the NRCS for rehabilitation and federal funding becomes available, the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission (MSWCC) collaborates with local sponsors to secure the necessary matching funds. This funding is pivotal for upgrading and rehabilitating these dams, especially in scenarios where downstream development, such as houses, businesses, or roads, has led to the reclassification of the dams as high hazard structures.

The frequency of watershed dam rehabilitation largely depends on factors such as dam condition, age, and structural integrity. However, it's worth noting that watershed dam rehabilitation is not a routine undertaking due to the associated costs. Consequently, only a limited number of dams have undergone rehabilitation over the years, with considerable demand far surpassing available funding.


Request for Inspection/Assessment

Regarding inspections and assessments, the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission (MSWCC) does not inspect watershed dams. The responsibility for inspecting watershed dams lies with entities such as the NRCS and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's Dam Safety division.

Individuals seeking inspection information or guidance are advised to refer to the appropriate agencies for specific protocols and procedures. For further information, you can visit the official website of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).