Dams Sector: Critical Infrastructure

long dam with water being released

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 and beneficial part of the nation's infrastructure and continuously 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 souce of water for irrigation and water management;
  • The Transportation Systems Sector uses dams and locks to manage navigable waters throughout inland waterways;
  • The Water 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)


For more information, contact nipp@dhs.gov.

Download Plug-in

Some of the links on this page require a plug-in to view them. Links to the plug-ins are available below.

Click Here to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat (PDF)

This page was last reviewed / modified on June 15, 2012.

I Want to

Popular Searches

Featured Components


Information For

Connect with DHS

About the Department