While conditions can be checked on thousands of dams, access to some is hard

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Friday, May 6, 2022 - 2:29pm

Hoover Dam
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Hoover Dam

U.S. residents are able to check the conditions of tens of thousands of dams on a national database and view their hazard ratings. 

Checking on one of the west’s largest and most important dams is a different story. 

The status of Hoover Dam is listed as “not available” in the National Inventory of Dams run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

After the 9/11 attacks, the Corps declined to reveal the conditions of dams in the country citing security reasons. 

In a move for more transparency, the corps updated their website last year to include the condition ratings of more than 20,000 dams. 

Though, because some agencies haven’t updated their data, the condition of many of the dams remains a mystery. 

Investigations from the Associated Press using public records found over 2,000 dams were in poor or unsatisfactory conditions in 48 states and Puerto Rico.