There are more than 87,000 dams currently under state regulation
10,127 have been classified as high hazard, meaning they pose a serious threat to human life if they should fail
Of those high hazard dams, 1,333 have been identified as structurally deficient or unsafe
The average dam inspector in the US is responsible for more than 400 dams. The ASDSO recommends that each inspector is responsible for fewer than 50 dams.
Even more disturbing, there is no accurate count for just how many dams there actually are in the United States. The National Inventory of Dams, maintained by Army Corps of Engineers, tracks about 80 thousand dams. And when state dam inventories are totaled, there are more than 100 thousand. But neither number is particularly reliable, since states have varying definitions of dams. In some states, such as Missouri, a 34-foot high structure isn't even considered a dam. Alabama doesn't even have a dam safety program and doesn't track the number of dams in the state.
At first the bridges and now the dams?
than ten thousand dams across America could become killers if they fail and 1,333 of those dams are considered unsafe. This Sunday, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) holds their annual conference in Austin, TX. Statistics developed by ASDSO show that an alarming number of dams in the United States pose a threat to human life and many of them are structurally unsafe.
Congress will soon consider the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act of 2007 (H.R 3224) which would direct $200 million to states for improving the safety of publicly-owned dams, through either repairing or removing problem dams. To date, only 11 members have signed on to co-sponsor the bill introduced by Congressman John Salazar (D-CO).
1,333 Unsafe Dams Threaten Nation's Communities - Unsafe High Hazard Dams Litter the US