The dam failures that have inundated Midland and surrounding communities with water are the latest example in a growing problem in the nation. The U-S Army Corps of Engineers says the average age of dams in the country is 57 years.
Lori Spragens is the executive director of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. She says incidents like this are preventable if politicians pay attention.
“It’s really important that at some point we’ve got to wake up and our policy-makers have got to understand that this isn’t just a piece of infrastructure that provides a service and it can also be a public safety hazard.”
The likely reason for the hesitance by lawmakers to provide funding – the cost. Spragens says the cost to fix the critical, non-federal dams in the U-S would near 20-billion dollars.