US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Dams Sector

Dams Sector

Sector Overview

The Dams Sector is comprised of assets that include dam projects, hydropower generation facilities, navigation locks, levees, dikes, hurricane barriers, mine tailings and other industrial waste impoundments, and other similar water retention and water control facilities. The Dams Sector is a vital part of the nation's infrastructure and provides a wide range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including hydroelectric power, river navigation, water supply, wildlife habitat, waste management, flood control, and recreation.

There are over 82,000 dams in the United States; approximately 65 percent are privately owned and more than 85 percent are regulated by State Dam Safety Offices. The Dams Sector has interdependencies with a wide range of other sectors, including:

  • The Emergency Services Sector relies on Dams Sector assets for firefighting water supply, emergency water supply, and waterborne access in the event of a significant disaster;
  • The Energy Sector provides approximately 8 to 12 percent of the Nation’s power needs with hydropower dams;
  • The Food and Agriculture Sector utilizes Dams Sector assets as a source of water for irrigation and water management;
  • The Transportation Systems Sector uses dams and locks to manage navigable waters throughout inland waterways; and
  • The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector relies on Dams Sector assets to provide water to concentrated populations and commercial facilities in the United States.

Read the Dams Sector Snapshot (PDF, 2 pages - 1.52 MB)

Sector-Specific Plan

The Dams Sector-Specific Plan (PDF, 136 pages – 1.45 MB) details how the National Infrastructure Protection Plan risk management framework is implemented within the context of the unique characteristics and risk landscape of the sector. Each Sector-Specific Agency develops a sector-specific plan through a coordinated effort involving its public and private sector partners. The Department of Homeland Security is designated as the Sector-Specific Agency for the Dams Sector.

Sector Resources

For resources available to Dams Sector partners, check out the links on the right hand sidebar.

Back to Top