In May of 1940 the first construction of Clearwater Project began. By March 1942, the outlet works were completed but with the outbreak of World War II, all construction was brought to a halt. In fact, it was not until September of 1948 that the remainder of the project was completed.
Clearwater is one unit of a comprehensive plan for flood control and development of the water resources in the White and lower Mississippi River Basins and is operated primarily for flood control. At a construction cost of $9,120,000, Clearwater has succeeded in its purpose.
Recreation has come to play a major role at Clearwater Lake, although that was not its initial mission. Now Clearwater offers boating, swimming, and camping facilities.