Preventing Rodent Burrows in Earthen Embankments

The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety Branch, the Boise Project Board of Control, the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, and various other federal canal operating entities are seeking new ideas for cost-effective ways to prevent rodents from burrowing into earthen dam, canal, and levee embankments. These burrows cause seepage paths in the embankment systems which can lead to structural failures that endanger water supplies, cause property damage, and endanger the lives of nearby populations. Many of the more traditional and “intuitive” methods have been tried with little success to date. We are hoping the public solver community can “dig deeper” than the rodents to find creative and effective solutions to this challenge scheduled to launch on late August 2016.

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