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Watershed Rehabilitation Program

Watershed Rehabilitation Program in Kansas

Time Has Taken Its Toll–

Watershed damOver the last 50 years, watershed sponsors in Kansas, with assistance from the NRCS, have built over 800 flood control dams. Over these years, changes have occurred to impact the functioning of these dams.

  • Population has grown
  • Residential and commercial development has occurred upstream and downstream from the dams
  • Land uses have changed
  • Sediment pools have filled
  • Concrete and metal components have deteriorated
  • State dam safety requirements have changed

Watershed sponsors realize the valuable benefits watershed dams provide and now are looking for a cost-effective way to rehabilitate and extend the service life of the dams that protect their communities.

American AvocetBenefits

These dams still serve critical functions in their watershed and nearby communities. Benefits include:

  • Flood Control
  • Erosion Control
  • Water Supply
  • Recreation
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife Habitat

A Cost-Effective Way to Rehabilitation

In just the last few years, much progress has been made in the rehabilitation of aging flood control structures. At the initiative of local watershed districts and the excellent partnership between NRCS, state conservation agencies, and state dam safety officials, financial and technical assistance is available to rehabilitate these structures.

Earthwork Watershed Rehabilitation

  • On November 9, 2000, Congress passed the "Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments" which authorized NRCS to provide technical and financial assistance to watershed project sponsors in rehabilitating their aging dams.
  • Rehabilitation extends the service life of dams to meet applicable safety and performance standards.

The Role of NRCS:

  • Provides up to 65 percent of the total cost of the rehabilitation project
  • Provides technical assistance to plan and design projects
  • Watershed projects are "federally assisted" in that NRCS does not own the project, the easement, or the land the project is on
  • NRCS has no contractual relationship with the landowner

The Role of Project Sponsors:

  • Responsible for obtaining all land rights, easements, and permits
  • Responsible for operating and maintaining the dam for the life of the project
  • Responsible for providing 35 percent of the cost of rehabilitation


Dams constructed under the following programs are eligible for the federal rehabilitation program.

  • • Watershed Program (P.L.-534 Flood Control Act of 1944 and P.L.-566 Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act)
  • • Pilot Watershed Program (1952-1954)
  • • Resource Conservation and Development Program

For More Information

Please contact NRCS at your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center, listed in phone directory under U.S. Government.

This information is also available for download and requires Acrobat Reader.

Watershed Rehabilitation Program in Kansas (PDF; 647 KB)