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What You Should Know About Alabama's Dams

Alabama is the only state without a Dam Safety Program, which would provide guidelines necessary for the safe design of dams, as well as critical inspections and maintenance of existing dams. Although we do not have an accurate count of how many dams are in Alabama today, the 2200 plus dams we do know about continue to age and the size of the population downstream of these dams continues to increase, placing more people at a greater risk from dam failure.  Some of the known dams include more than 20 hydroelectric facilities along the Alabama, Tennessee and Coosa Rivers, which do receive regular inspections and have emergency action plans in place. These hydroelectric dams brought electrification to the south more than a hundred years ago and today still provide 5% of Alabama’s electricity along with large recreation areas for the state.  We know about the dams that power our homes, but the unknown number of dams needing repair continues to grow and so does the funding needed to fix and maintain them. Finding all of our dams, increasing the number of emergency action plans for high hazard dams, performing regular inspections, and completing necessary repairs are common sense safety measures that we can do. A significant commitment from the federal, state, local, and private sector to Alabama’s dams is long overdue.  Let’s find and care for Alabama’s dams!

What Can You Do?

Find out about Alabama's Dams at www.infrastructurereportcard.org/alabama.

What Can Dam Owners Do?

Learn how to take care of your dam at www.damowner.org.

What Can Alabama Do?

Complete the inventory of Alabama's dams so that Emergency Action Plans (EAP) can be made for dams that put people and property at risk.

What Can We All Do?

Support dam safety in Alabama so that we know where all big and small dams are and can limit the unknown risks.

May 31st was National Dam Safety Awareness Day and was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of dams and dam safety.  Section President Sheila Montgomery-Mills and State Advocacy Captain Joe Meads wrote about everything you should know. Read the article online at: 

http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/05/alabama_dam_safety_program_is.html.

Click HERE to visit the 2015 Report Card for Alabama's Infrastructure and to find out more.