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FEMA allocates $7.2 million to Utah for dam safety upgrades

By Staff | Jul 10, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently announced a significant allocation of $185 million to 32 states and one U.S. Territory for the rehabilitation of high-hazard dams. Utah is set to receive $7.2 million from this allocation to enhance the safety and integrity of its dam infrastructure.

“Aging dam infrastructure and the requirement to meet the minimum dam safety standards make this initial award a welcome sight,” said Candice Hasenyager, director of the Division of Water Resources. “Dam improvements are imperative to the safety of Utahans, and they are also costly. We are grateful for FEMA’s support.”

The Utah Division of Water Resources, in collaboration with the Utah Division of Water Rights, works diligently to identify high-hazard dams, prioritize needs with dam owners, and pursue potential funding sources. This collaborative effort ensures that the most critical dams receive the attention and resources necessary for safety upgrades.

“This funding will be put to great use in helping address the minimum safety standards on dams across the state,” said Utah State Engineer Teresa Wilhelmsen, who also serves as the director of Water Rights. “We work directly with dam owners to perform annual inspections, provide consulting, and oversee repairs, maintenance, and construction. Funding for dam safety is always a top concern for everyone involved.”

Wilhelmsen emphasized the importance of responsibly managing and appropriating water for Utah’s residents, noting that this can only be achieved when state dams and other water infrastructure function safely and properly.

For more information, visit the Division of Water Resources’ dam safety web page. For detailed information about state dams, safety ratings, inspection records, or emergency plans, check the Division of Water Rights’ dam safety database.

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The Utah Division of Water Resources and the Division of Water Rights are part of the Department of Natural Resources.

The Utah Division of Water Resources is dedicated to planning, conserving, developing, and protecting Utah’s water resources, serving as the state’s water steward. It plays a crucial role in pursuing funding sources and allocating funds for water-related projects throughout Utah.

The Division of Water Rights oversees the supervision of the state’s waters, including their measurement, appropriation, apportionment, and distribution. Its dam safety section inspects new and existing state dams, oversees dam design, construction, operation, and removal, and identifies safety concerns and maintenance issues.

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