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Beaver Lake Dam IRRM

Dam Safety Risk Management Process

graphic describing the beaver lake dam irrm

Updated Guide Curves

guide curve chart

Where is Beaver Dam?

Beaver Dam is location in the northwest corner of Arkansas on the White River in Benton, Washington, Carroll, and Madison counties. The watershed for Beaver Lake covers 1,186 square miles and the lake itself has 449 miles of shoreline. Beaver Lake is one of five multi-purpose projects constructed in the White River Basin for the control of floods, generation of hydroelectric power, public water supply, and recreation. Beaver Lake is the first dam on the White River to provide a cold-water fishery in the tail water.

map of beaver dam location

USACE Safety Program

Reducing the risk of life is the top priority and the core of the program. Our Dam Safety Program exists to assess a dam's condition, communicate what we know and help manage any risks associated with the dam.

Dam Safety Risks

We cannot completely eliminate risk, but we can reduce and manage risk. Risk is the likelihood an event such as an excessive rainfall will occur, how the dam performs, and the consequences of failure, with loss of life the paramount concern.​

metal walkway suspended above water

High flood waters from rain cause water levels close to overtopping the gates at Beaver Lake. These operational interim risk reduction measures (IRRMs) decrease the amount of time that water will threaten inundation of the catwalk and hoist machinery. These IRRMs are also estimated to reduce the population at risk by an average of 1,000 people per day.

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It is foremost a procedural law that helps ensure that federal decision makers take a hard look at the potential effects of a proposed action and allow the public and other stakeholders to comment on the federal agency’s effects analysis and consideration of reasonable alternatives. The NEPA analysis helps these decision makers understand the environmental consequences of the alternatives in comparative form before making a decision. This “hard look” is informed by the public and other stakeholders, starting with a project or study’s scoping phase.

graphic describing the national environmental policy act
* click the image to enlarge 

The environmental review process that accompanies Corps planning studies and its value to the public are not always easy to understand. Recognizing this, and to help the public and organizations effectively participate in federal agency environmental reviews, the Council on Environmental Quality wrote the informational A Citizen’s Guide to the NEPA