Unless specifically excluded, all dams in Virginia are regulated. More than 2,900 dams are regulated here.
DCR's dam safety staff works to ensure that dams are properly and safely designed, built, operated and maintained. Dams in Virginia are classified according to their hazard potential - high, significant or low. Classification of a dam can change depending on how the dam's failure may lead to the loss of life and property downstream.
Dam Safety News
- Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board Adoption of Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) Study for Virginia and Associated PMP Evaluation Tool and Database
- PMP Evaluation Tool Training Document (February 2016)
- 2016 Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund grants: A new grant round is tentatively scheduled for this fall. Guidance will be posted when the grant round is announced.
- Recently approved dam safety guidance documents.
- Guidance Document on New Probable Maximum Precipitation Implementation, March 23, 2016: This guidance document specifies the decision process to be utilized by dam owners and their engineers in determining when a dam break inundation zone map, emergency action or emergency preparedness plan, and hazard potential classification must be updated to reflect Virginia’s new Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) values that became effective on March 23, 2016.
Floods are the most common natural disaster. Each year, about 200 Americans die because of floods, and flood damage throughout the nation exceeds $3 billion.
In 1987, after several disastrous floods and coastal storms, Virginia's floodplain management programs were transferred from the Water Control Board to DCR. In particular, DCR manages coordination of the National Flood Insurance Program and works with localities to establish and enforce floodplain zoning.
Floodplain Management News
- DCR and FEMA will hold two sessions of the FEMA Course L273: Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program.
- See our training page for a description of the course and a registration form.
- A new draft Model Floodplain Ordinance is ready. It has recommended higher standards for flood protection and up-to-date FEMA requirements.