Dams Sector

Sector Chief:

Pamela Whittaker

Sector Overview

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.

There are more than 87,000 dams in the United States—approximately 65 percent are privately owned and approximately 77 percent are regulated by state dams safety offices. The Dams Sector has 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.