Key Topic

Levees, Dams, Waterways

There are 26,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways and over 79,000 dams located throughout the U.S. Over 4,095 dams are "unsafe" and have deficiencies that leave them more susceptible to failure, especially during large flood events or earthquakes (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009). 

On an average day, some 43 million tons of goods valued at $29 billion move on the nation’s interconnected network of ports, roads, rails and inland waterways (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2008). These are critical infrastructure systems that, if not repaired and maintained, will cause catastrophic damages by flooding towns, cities, and farmland in virtually every region of the U.S. 

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed the world what happens when our levees are not built to handle the appropriate levels of water. Had we invested more just a few years before, we may have prevented the billions in costs following that disaster and saved hundreds of lives.