Representative Sharice Davids secures funding for national levee safety initiative in FY2020 Appropriations Bill

Pictured: Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS-03).(Photo: davids.house.gov)

Resilient flood infrastructure needed; levees that are on average 50 years old and not built to withstand severe flooding can no longer be relied upon says Davids

News Release

Office of Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS-03)

Representative Sharice Davids secured an additional $10 million in funding for the National Levee Safety Initiative (NLSI) to keep Kansas communities safe in an Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020.

This marks the first funding increase since the initiative’s establishment in 2014, bringing the total appropriated funding level up to $15 million.

“We’ve seen historic flooding across the Midwest this spring, damaging our communities and farms and reminding us all of need to have resilient flood infrastructure in place. Yet we are still relying on levees that are on average 50 years old and not built to withstand the severe flooding facing our country. That’s why I’ve advocated for the National Levee Safety Initiative, and why I’m so glad we were able to secure additional support for this critical program to help keep Kansas families safe,” said Davids. 

This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ initiative sets levee safety guidelines, maintains the National Levee Database, provides for levee rehabilitation and repair, and supports Kansas’s levee safety programs. Levee systems provide critical flood control for communities.

But the program has yet to receive funding other than for the National Levee Database, and a 2016 Government Accountability Office report found that the Army Corps had difficulty implementing many aspects of the National Levee Safety Initiative due to a lack of funding.

“Improving our levee system now will prevent billions of dollars in future flood damage repairs and will save Kansas taxpayers money. We can’t wait any longer – we must act now to protect our communities and avoid unnecessary future costs. I look forward to seeing this bill come to the House floor,” said Davids.

In April, Davids urged the House Appropriations Subcommittee to include critical funding for the National Levee Safety Initiative as they develop the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2020.

Now that the funding has been included in the Appropriations bill, it will move to the House floor for a vote.

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