PRESSURE FROM American engineers has prompted the US to set up a system to monitor the condition of levees following Hurricane Katrina last August.
A bill establishing a National Levee Inspection programme was introduced to Congress before Christmas. If approved it will allocate $10M (£5.7M) a year for levee inspection, although it does not set aside funds for repairs or upgrades.
American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) director of government relations Brian Pallasch advised politicians on the contents of the bill.
He said the US Government had no idea of how many levees there were in the country or what condition they were in.
The National Levee Inspection & Safety Program was introduced to Congress before Christmas. The bill was first recommended in a damning report by the ASCE on the flood defence failures in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, which claimed that poor design and construction of the levees had aggravated flooding of the city (NCE 10 November 2005).