US Department of Agriculture assigns $1M to repair Añasco dams
The US Department of Agriculture announced it has allocated more than $1 million to rehabilitate two dams in the Añasco River watershed — Dagüey Lake Dam and Ajies Dam — which help prevent flooding in the area.
The USDA is investing more than $166.5 million in 108 infrastructure projects as part of implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working with local communities in 23 states to invest in new dam and flood prevention projects and in repairs on existing watershed infrastructure, which are all part of USDA’s broader national infrastructure investment, it stated.
The investment in the two structures in Añasco will restore their ability to prevent major flooding to the Añasco valley communities and industries as they did before Hurricane María hit in 2017, and both dams suffered damages.
Both structures are currently listed as high-hazard dams requiring rehabilitation to extend the service life and met current dam safety requirements, the agency added.
“With the funds, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources will bring both structures to compliance with current safety criteria and performance standards, extend their lifespan and in turn reduce flood risk to life and property,” the agency stated.
Repair work design under the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is already underway and construction should begin this year, it stated.
“The rehabilitation project intends to bring both structures to compliance with current NRCS safety criteria and performance standards, extend their lifespan and in turn reduce flood risk to life and property,” the federal agency stated, noting that both dams were built in the 1980s.