ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox


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Irrigation from dams and related infrastructure has made desert agriculture feasible

(Image Source: Wikipedia)

Ten percent of American cropland is irrigated using water stored behind dams. Dams can be used to both store water and divert it to where it is needed for crops or livestock. Water is captured and stored during the winter and spring when most watersheds experience the most amount of precipitation. The stored water can be released during the summer and fall months when precipitation is less frequent, prolonging the growing season and increasing agricultural output in a given year.

Some guidance for these types of dams can be found at:

USDA Irrigation Reservoir Code

Revision ID: 7813
Revision Date: 02/28/2024