The Dams Sector delivers critical water retention and control services in the United States, including hydroelectric power generation, municipal and industrial water supplies, agricultural irrigation, sediment and flood control, river navigation for inland bulk shipping, industrial waste management, and recreation. Its key services support multiple critical infrastructure sectors and industries. Dams Sector assets irrigate at least 10 percent of U.S. cropland, help protect more than 43 percent of the U.S. population from flooding, and generate about 60 percent of electricity in the Pacific Northwest.
The Dams Sector includes more than 90,000 dams in the United States—approximately 65 percent are privately owned and approximately 80 percent are regulated by state dam safety offices.
The Dams Sector has dependencies and interdependencies with a wide range of other sectors, including:
- Communications: Communications networks enable remote Dams Sector operations and control.
- Energy: Hydropower dams provide critical electricity resources and blackstart capabilities.
- Food and Agriculture: Dams Sector assets provide water for irrigation and protect farmland from flooding.
- Transportation Systems: Navigation lock systems in the Dams Sector enable all inland and intracoastal waterway freight movements. Major roads may traverse dams.
- Water: Dams Sector assets provide drinking water supplies and pumping capabilities.
Dams Sector work is guided by Presidential Policy Directive-21: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, the National Infrastructure Protection Plan 2013, and the Dams Sector-Specific Plan. These strategic documents move the sector toward shared goals and priorities to reduce sector risk, improve coordination, and strengthen security and resilience capabilities.
More general information on the Dams Sector and the work of the Dams Sector Management Team can be found in the Dams Sector Overview, Dams Sector Profile, and the Dams Sector Risk Management Agency Fact Sheet.
Dams Sector Councils and Working Groups
The Dams Sector works in partnership with both the private and public sector to develop industry practices that build a culture of safety and security. In accordance with the partnership framework developed in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) 2013, private owners and operators work directly with their peers through the Dams Sector Coordinating Council and with the government counterparts.
Allows Dams Sector partners to effectively collect and distribute information to federal, state, and local agencies and the private sector.
Dams Sector reference publications include both open source and those designated as "For Official Use Only" (FOUO). Publications available to sector partners include handbooks, guides, brochures, and fact sheets.
These webinars, seminars, and web-based independent study courses provide dam and levee partners with the knowledge required to enhance security and resilience at their facilities.
Helps owners and operators to understand the principles of crisis management and build a crisis management program. The suite includes educational materials, planning templates, and exercise support to test the plans included in the program.
Helps identify critical facilities within the Dams Sector. Critical facilities are highly important facilities, and their failure or disruption would have the highest possible effect compared to other sector assets.
Helps owners and operators to understand and report suspicious activity. Timely reporting helps authorities act quickly to identify potential threats and can provide an indicator of national-level activities against similar facilities or operations.
Supports the efforts of State Dam Safety Offices to promote, educate, and train owners and operators on critical infrastructure security and resilience practices. Available via the HSIN-CI Dams Portal.