Dams are a core element of American infrastructure and provide many important services. However, aging infrastructure has led to many dams becoming obsolete, costly, and unsafe, threatening human life if they fail. By 2020, more than 65 percent of dams will be past their designated lifespan. Further, these structures put a strain on American rivers and wildlife by blocking an estimated 600,000 miles of U.S. rivers. Without a comprehensive plan for this failing infrastructure, the problem will continue to grow.
Watch this Center for American Progress panel discussion highlighting the progress that has already been made and the future of policymaking that aims to modernize the management of dam infrastructure, remove unneeded dams, and restore the health of American rivers.