DamWatch. I'm Greg Martin with Lacy Gray for Colorado Ag Today.

MARTIN: A new web-based application that provides real-time monitoring of rainfall, snowmelt, stream flow and seismic events that could pose potential threats to dam safety was revealed the other day by NRCS Chief Jason Weller.

GRAY: It's called DamWatch and according to Ag Secretary Vilsack: "This tool provides a 'one-stop' source for accessing critical documents, databases, onsite electronic monitoring devices and geospatial information. The intent is to help keep the public safe and protect infrastructure." Through a secure interactive web interface, DamWatch will help watershed project sponsors monitor and manage dams that were built with assistance from USDA's NRCS.

MARTIN: The idea that through monitoring they can better prevent and protect against hazardous, costly and potentially catastrophic events. It alerts personnel via email, fax or text message when dams experience one or more potentially hazardous conditions, resulting in the coordinated deployment of personnel and resources at the right time and place.

GRAY: NRCS watershed projects provide an estimated $2.2 billion each year to local communities. Nearly 12,000 dams in 47 states and Puerto Rico help to prevent flooding and erosion damage, provide recreational opportunities, improve water supply and create habitat for wildlife. DamWatch is currently monitoring nearly 12,000 dams across the country.

And that's Colorado Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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