The benefits of dams are numerous: they provide water for drinking, navigation, and agricultural irrigation. Dams also provide hydroelectric power and create lakes for fishing and recreation. Most important, dams save lives by preventing or reducing floods.
If dams have many benefits, they also can pose a risk to communities if not designed, operated, and maintained properly. In the event of a dam failure, the energy of the water stored behind even a small dam is capable of causing loss of life and great property damage if there are people downstream of the dam. The National Dam Safety Program is dedicated to protecting the lives of American citizens and their property from the risks associated with the development, operation, and maintenance of America's dams. Louisiana also has measures in place to regulate the dams in our state. The purpose of Louisiana Dam Safety Program is to provide a means for the inspection, regulation, and supervision of regulated dams within the State and the operation and maintenance of those as specified in the regulations, in order to prevent and correct potential hazards to downstream life and property in the event of breach of any dam.