Flood Control Dams Nearing the End of Their Design Life- Urgency to Rehabilitate Structures GrowingMon, 03 Jun 2019 12:20:39 CDT
On the latest episode of the Southern Plains Podcast, USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub Coordinator and host Clay Pope is joined by Larry Caldwell to talk about the upstream flood control program in Oklahoma and the US. Caldwell is a former state engineer for the USDA-NRCS in Oklahoma and currently serves as a watershed specialist for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.
According to Caldwell, the watershed program under which Oklahoma and 46 other states operate under, was started back during the Dust Bowl days in the 1930s by Congress in response to flooding events that occurred at that time.
The first of the eventual 12,000 dams that were built, was constructed here in Oklahoma near Cordell in 1948. The majority of these dams were constructed between the 1950s and 1970s at a rate of about two dams a week. These dams were designed and built to operate within a 50-year lifespan.
“Oklahoma has been a leader in this since it’s inception. But, we are now in the decade where two dams each and every week will come to the end of its design life,” Caldwell said. “That’s the challenge for today’s generation - to maintain those dams and keep them in safe condition so they can function properly for future generations to come.”
Listen to Caldwell talk more about the upstream flood control program and the importance of keeping the existing infrastructure maintained, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below to hear the full episode, moderated by host, Clay Pope.
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