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News Release

Kansas NRCS Schedules Public Meeting on Dam Rehabilitation Project for Flood Control Dam

Contact:
El Dorado NRCS Field Office
(316) 321-5803


U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Little Walnut-Hickory Watershed Joint District No. 18 announce a notice of public meeting on the rehabilitation of Dam No. 19.  The dam was built for floodwater control.  The meeting will be at 7:00 pm, September 5, 2017, at the Leon Community Center, 116 Central St., in Leon, Kansas.

Local communities in Kansas have built more than 800 flood control dams since 1948.  Kansas has the 3rd largest number of flood control dams in the U.S.  Due to age, sedimentation, or changing conditions, many of these dams now require rehabilitation.  Many dams built in rural areas to protect agricultural areas now need upgrading to protect homes and businesses that have sprung up in the flood plain.  These dams now have a higher hazard rating, requiring them to meet more stringent safety requirements.

Meeting a higher safety standard is part of the rehabilitation construction for Dam No. 19.  The proposed work on Dam No. 19 includes relocating downstream habitable structures and limiting development in areas that would be impacted by a potential breach.  Work also includes rehabilitating its spillways.

Bruce K. Wells, Kansas NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Water Resources said, “The Little Walnut-Hickory Watershed Joint District No. 18 and NRCS have worked very closely to find the best engineering and economical solution for this project.  We encourage people to attend to see what the district is proposing, ask questions, and provide comments.  Having the community’s involvement in the decision making process is key for a successful project.”

In 2017, NRCS completed assessments on seven other existing dams in Kansas.  These assessments are being distributed to watershed districts for evaluation and obtaining funds.  NRCS can help watershed districts obtain Federal cost share assistance to rehabilitate aging dams.  Under new rules, rehabilitation funds can also help provide new opportunities such as adding municipal and irrigation water supplies, recreation, and wetland wildlife enhancement.

Through 2016, 225 federally-assisted dams in Kansas have met their design life.  According to Wells, "Limited funding has been available in the past, now, within the 2014 Farm Bill, there is additional funding to help watershed districts get needed work done on their flood control dams.  NRCS will be prepared to help watersheds every way we can as we identify rehabilitation needs involving federal assisted dams.”

For more information about the Little Walnut-Hickory Watershed project, go to the Kansas NRCS Web site www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ks/programs/planning/wr and click on the “Little Walnut-Hickory Watershed” link to find the public meeting notice and the Draft Watershed Project Plan Supplement No 2 and Environmental Evaluation document.

To find a service center near you, check on the Internet at offices.usda.gov.  Follow us on Twitter @NRCS_Kansas.