Resources for Dam Owners and Operators


Being a Responsible Dam Owner

ASDSO Dam Owner Education Video Series

Find Workshops, Fact Sheets, and Guidance

Next Steps - Meeting Knowledgable Dam Owners and Regulators

External Resources

Being a Responsible Dam Owner

As a dam owner, you are legally responsible to maintain your dam in a safe manner, and you could be found liable should your structure fail and cause loss of life or damage to property of others. One of the most important components of dam safety is owner education. 

Owners must be aware of:

  • State and/or federal dam laws and regulations;
  • Proper operation and maintenance practices;
  • Rehabilitation needs;
  • Emergency action planning, and;
  • How to hire qualified dam engineers.

Through education, owners can take steps to:

  • Reduce likelihood of incidents and failures;
  • Reduce their own liability;
  • Improve the safety of dams;
  • Help to reduce the risk to communities

This site serves as a tool to make it easy to access guidance information and understand what each step entails. 

ASDSO Dam Owner Education Video Series

Dam Owner Academy: Dams 101

'Dams 101' is the first in a series of educational videos for dam owners from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). This video focuses on types of dams and how they work. More videos are coming soon. Subscribe to ASDSO's Youtube Channel and continue to check for updates.

Watch on Youtube or Download

Find Workshops, Fact Sheets, and Guidance

Attend a Dam Owner Educational Workshop
From time-to-time, ASDSO partners with State Dam Safety Programs to conduct one-day workshops for dam owners. Click here to learn more.

Watch ASDSO's Educational Webinars 
Go to to find a list of all ASDSO Downloadable and On-Demand Webinars. Many of the webinars address dam owner needs.

View Common Issues Facing Dam Owners
ASDSO has developed a booklet of fact sheets that provides guidance on specific issues many dam owners face. Download Full Dam Owner Fact Sheet Booklet
PLEASE NOTE: These fact sheets have replaced ASDSO's tri-fold dam owner brochures.

Click the topics listed below to download individual fact sheets or view the information as a webpage. 


1. Your state dam safety program will be aware of the specific requirements and regulations for your dam and can put you in contact with qualified personnel to help you manage the needs of your dam. Locate Your State Dam Safety Program Office (Click on the Map and then Click on Your State)

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2. Consider joining the Association of State Dam Safety Officials to take full advantage of trainings, resources, a collaborative community and industry access for managing your dam (Visit our Member Center for more information).

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External Resources

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides some resources for dam owners and professionals.
These resources are accessible at the FEMA website by clicking here or navigating to their dam safety web portal at
The FEMA website provides extensive information on dam ownership in the United States, federal guidelines for dam safety, and many other resources.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers dams to be one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors that form the core of the DHS security mission.
Dam security resources can be accessed on the DHS website by clicking here or navigating to their dams sector portal at
The DHS website provides resources regarding maintaining site security at dams and offers many online training courses for dam owners and professionals.

In support of conservation efforts across the nation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with land owners in the disciplines of hydrology and hydraulics.  Tools and models here, as well as significant technical information can be accessed at the NRCS website.  Training material is also available.  In each of the 50 states NRCS has a hydraulic engineering contact person.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has an extensive dam portfolio it maintains across the nation. The USACE website has a large archive of engineering-focused publications and technical manuals, among many other resources.
The USACE dam safety program website is accessible by clicking here or navigating to their dam safety portal at

... and many more ...

There are a multitude of other available dam-specific or dam-related resources and institutions available not listed here, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Institute for Water Resources, the U.S. Society on Dams, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Association of Engineering Geologists (among others) that can also provide assistance or guidance.

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