Lakefront Property: Dam Issues

For centuries, dams have been built and used for the purposes of controlling water flow as well as to be a source of hydroelectric power. In essence, dams give human beings some control over the power of naturally existing bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. Dam management, however, is no piece of cake. The resulting water fluctuation affects the surrounding lake and river ecosystems. Not only are animal populations affected, but human populations are as well since water recreation such as jet skiing and boating as well as waterfront property values are also impacted.

Why You Should Give a Dam

If you are considering buying a waterfront property, there are some issues with lakes that contain dams that you should be aware of. The eventual deterioration of dams is inevitable. Before committing to purchasing property on a lake with a dam, consider the following.

  • Many of our nation's dams are getting old, requiring more frequent inspection and repair.
  • There is increasing development downstream of dams; is your potential lakefront property in a potentially hazardous location?
  • Dam programs are poorly organized and underfunded - it is often difficult to determine who is responsible for any given dam.
  • Many existing dams are abandoned, with nobody taking responsibility for their care and upkeep.
  • Executing safety modifications for dams is costly.

What to Do

When considering the purchase of a lakefront home, make sure you're aware of any particular dam issues affecting the body of water. Find out what the community association does and doesn't take care of. Find out how old the dam is, how often it is maintained, and ask about any recent or expected adverse effects. In essence, make sure you know everything there is to know about the dam so you can make an educated decision about buying property situated near it.

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