On Thursday, October 21, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the PRECIP Act. The bill would modernize out-of-date precipitation data in the United States by providing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with clear authorization and consistent funding to collect data and conduct studies. Rep. Mikie Sherrill introduced companion legislation in the House in March of this year.

ASDSO supports the PRECIP Act and applauds Sens. Brooker and Wicker for introducing this legislation. There is a clear need for federal leadership to update the standards, which will result in more consistency between the state dam regulatory programs once completed.

National extreme rainfall standards have long been used to regulate and design high-hazard potential infrastructure, including dams. However, decades have passed since the reports were published with no official updates to reflect new methods, technologies, storm event data (the basis for calculating deterministic standards), and a changing climate. These outdated reports continue to be used by many in the industry. Consistent and standardized modern methodologies that reflect these changes are needed now and will help ensure the highest level of public safety.

Join ASDSO, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), the Western States Water Council (WSCS), and other national organizations supporting this important legislation.