The Operations Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of flood risk management projects, including 15 dams and 68 miles of levee and channel across Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. These projects reduce the risk of flooding for critical infrastructure, transportation corridors, residences and businesses. As part of our responsibility in managing these dams, the Corps has a comprehensive Dam Safety Program that has public safety as its primary objective. USACE dams are routinely inspected and continually evaluated for safety to ensure that they are operated in the manner that they are authorized. During rain events, Operations staff is deployed to man the dams around the clock. USACE wishes to caution the public that dam basins may fill up quickly during significant rain events and therefore, alerts and notification systems should be adhered to with a high sense of urgency. Rain events are most likely to occur during the storm season from October to April of each year.
Because of the Mediterranean climate of the southwestern region, basins behind dams are often dry. This provides a unique opportunity for open space recreational amenities and other compatible uses to exist behind flood risk management dams. Playgrounds, ballfields, trails, and picnic areas may be enjoyed by the public as well as the abundant natural resources, which are also managed in part by the Operations Division. The Operations Division annually manages the spread of invasive/exotic non-native vegetation; surveys endangered species; and monitors the natural resources found on project lands.