Since 1948, over 11,000 dams and associated conservation practices in more than 2,000 watershed projects encompassing 160 million acres in 47 states have been constructed as a part of the USDA Small Watershed Program. These projects have improved the quality of life and the environment in rural communities by protecting people's lives and property, conserving soil and water resources, reducing flooding, providing economic development, recreation, and water supplies, enhancing water quality, and improving wetlands and wildlife habitat.
Drainage & Watershed
In the mid 1930's, the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) realized the importance of hydrologic processes on agricultural fields and watersheds and determining their impact on soil erosion, floods, water resources, and the agricultural economy. In response, the SCS Hydrologic Division established experimental watersheds in Coshocton, Ohio, Hastings, Nebraska, and Riesel, Texas, and operated them until 1954 when the watersheds were transferred to the newly created Agricultural Research Service (ARS).