The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates over 700 dams nationwide that serve a variety of purposes including navigation, flood risk management, water supply, irrigation, hydropower, recreation, environmental stewardship and combinations of these purposes. The Portland District owns and operates 21 locks and dams in the Columbia, Willamette and Rogue river basins.
As part of the Corps' responsibility in managing these dams, the Corps maintains a comprehensive Dam Safety Program, whose primary objective is public safety. The Corps routinely inspects its dams and continually evaluates them for safety in accordance with the Dam Safety federal policies and industry best practices.
The Corps' dams are part of our nation’s landscape, integral to many communities and critical to watershed management. Our dam safety professionals carry out a dam safety program to make sure these projects deliver their intended benefits while reducing risks to people, property and the environment through continuous assessment, communication and management.
The Corps' continuously evaluates its dams to current design standards using updated information and current states of practice. The District works to understand the risks associated with dams and manage risks to tolerable levels. The Corps is dedicated to the principle that life safety is paramount in decision making while ensuring its actions are in accordance with environmental protections.