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Watershed Rehabilitation

Local communities, with NRCS assistance, have constructed more than 11,800 dams in 47 states since 1948. Many of these dams are nearing the end of their 50-year design life. Rehabilitation of these dams is needed to address critical public health and safety issues in these communities. The following information provides background and case studies of rehabilitation needs of watershed dams across the nation as well as progress toward rehabilitation accomplishments.


In Nebraska, though the partnership effort of the Natural Resources Districts, and other local sponsors, nearly 900 dams have been constructed throughout the state. These structures have provided benefits to 1.6 million acres by reducing soil erosion by over 12 million tons annually. These structures also protect property and roads during heavy rain events.


Watershed Rehabilitation Update

The 2014 Farm Bill made about $262 million available for rehabilitation of 151 dams in 26 states, including Nebraska.  These watershed management projects provide an estimated $2.2 billion in annual benefits in reduced flooding and erosion damages, recreation, water supplies and wildlife habitat for roughly 47 million people. Projects were identified based on recent rehabilitation investments and the risks to life and property if a dam failure occurred. 

Projects in Nebraska include: 

  • Oak Middle Creek Tributaries of Salt Creek

  • Upper Salt & Swedeburg

  • Upper Big Nemaha

  • Indian Creek

Through the Watershed Rehabilitation Program, Nebraska NRCS received $160,000 to complete dam assessments on the following eight structures:

  • Brule Creek 1-A (Keith County)

  • Buckley Creek 3-D (Jefferson County)

  • Spring Creek 5-A (Johnson County)

  • Papillion Creek S-6 (Sarpy County)

  • Clatonia Creek 3-A (Gage County)

  • Clatonia Creek 4-A (Gage County)

  • Clatonia Creek 7-A (Gage County)

  • Blackwood Creek P-2 (Red Willow County)

For more information:
Allen Gehring, Nebraska NRCS State Engineer
(402) 437-4037


Learn more about this program.