Utah Department of Public Safety

Emergency Management - Utah's Dam Safety Program

The National Dam Safety Program Act

On October 12, 1996, the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 (Public Law 104 - 303) was signed into law. Section 215 of Public Law 104 - 303, established a National Dam Safety Program and named the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as its coordinator.


The purpose of the National Dam Safety Program, as expressed in Section 215(a) of Public Law 104 - 303, is to "reduce the risks to life and property from dam failure in the United States through the establishment and maintenance of an effective national dam safety program to bring together the expertise and resources of the federal and non - federal communities in achieving national dam safety hazard reduction."


The objectives of the National Dam Safety Program are to:

  1. Ensure that new and existing dams are safe through the development of technologically and economically feasible programs and procedures for national dam safety hazard reduction.
  2. Encourage acceptable engineering policies and procedures to be used for dam site investigation, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and emergency preparedness.
  3. Encourage the establishment and implementation of effective dam safety
  4. Develop and encourage public awareness projects to increase public acceptance and support of state dam safety programs.
  5. Develop technical assistance materials for federal and non - federal dam safety programs.
  6. Develop mechanisms with which to provide federal technical assistance for dam safety to the non - federal sector.

Additional information may be found here.

The Utah State Engineer's Office, Division of Water Rights, Department of Water Resources, has the authority to regulate dams for the purpose of protecting public safety. Dams are classified according to hazard, size, and use. The dam inventory gives the identification, location, construction parameters, and the operation and maintenance history of the dams in Utah. For additional information on Utah's Dam Safety Program, please contact Matt Lindon at 538-7372, or mattlindon@utah.gov.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:25:54 MST]