Water Projects

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A photo of CCC camp members lining a canal, 1940. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Water control was the central task of many CCC projects. The need to prevent further soil erosion inspired many terracing projects to redirect the flow of water. CCC men received practical experience with engineering and surveying as part of this work. Some camps were under the direction of the Bureau of Reclamation, and their work involved dam building and other much-needed improvements to drainage systems, canals, water storage projects, and reservoirs.

Flood control was another important part of this work. Prior to the water-related projects undertaken by the CCC, there were fewer recreational facilities created by Bureau of Reclamation projects. Many of the same structures built to encourage tourism in parks, like picnic tables, stoves, boating facilities, and hiking areas near reservoirs and lakes, encouraged recreation in these areas.