DNR events have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Safety of our users, attendees, partners and staff is most important. When possible, events will be rescheduled and that information will be distributed accordingly. Please check this site frequently for the latest closures, postponements and updates.
Dam Safety Program


Dam Safety Program

The Iowa DNR is responsible for the state's dam safety program. The program involves the review and approval for the construction of new dams, maintaining an inventory of existing dams that meet minimum size criteria and the periodic inspection of dams that pose a significant risk to downstream life and property. Currently there are approximately 4000 dams on the state's dam inventory.

Listed below is information on when dams require permits, design references, and owner responsibilities.

If you have questions about an existing pond or dam, or are planning to construct a dam, feel free to contact us:
Jon Garton (515-725-8360; Jonathan.Garton@dnr.iowa.gov OR
Casey Welty (515-725-8330; Casey.Welty@dnr.iowa.gov

Information about Safety at Low Head Dams and Low Head Dam Mitigation can be found on our Canoeing and Kayaking page.
+ Dam Construction Permitting
+ Design Requirements and References
+ Dam Classifications
+ Dam Owner Responsibilities
+ Emergency Action Plans
Electronic Document Retrieval

Scanned Dam Files Index

Any person may submit their request to inspect public records by submitting their request via our our Iowa Information and Public Records Request Portal:

Request a Public Record

Iowa Online Dam Inventory

Iowa Online Dam Inventory

The dam safety program maintains a database of dams in the state the meet the thresholds for the National Inventory of Dams.  Click on the link above the access the database.