National Dam Safety Awareness Day

Tina McMartin

Freese and Nichols joins several national organizations today to commemorate the significant role dams play in American life. There are over 87,000 dams in the U.S., which provide nearly half of the nation’s clean, renewable electricity as well as water supply, recreation, and agriculture and industrial support.

A joint statement from the U.S. Society on Dams, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, National Hydropower Association, Deep Foundations Institute, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, states the following:

“This day is set aside to bring attention to the importance of safely and effectively managing dams. When designed, operated, and maintained properly, the benefits of dams are untold. When it rains, dams and good river management help to minimize the potential of flood damage. And during times of drought and intense heat, cold-water releases from dams provide flows and relief for fish populations.

Yet dams can pose a risk to communities if not designed, operated, and maintained properly. To ensure dams throughout the nation are safe requires a greater investment in inspection, maintenance, rehabilitation and assessment programs. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s dams a grade of “D” and the number of dams determined to be unsafe or deficient is currently more than 4,000.

On May 31st, we join together to commemorate National Dam Safety Awareness Day, remembering the lessons learned from past dam and levee failures, pushing for strong dam and levee safety programs, investing in America’s critical infrastructure and rededicating ourselves to the effective public-private partnerships that work to keep America’s dams and levees safe, operational and resilient.”

Help us spread awareness of not only keeping our dams safe but keeping people safe around dams. Here are a few resources recommended by ASDSO on these topics:

Public Safety and Awareness

Dam Failures and Incidents

Safety of Dams and Safety at Dams

National Water Safety Month

National Water Safety Congress