EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. — Beaver Lake Dam was authorized for multiple purposes to benefit Northwest Arkansas. As our Daybreak team visits counties across the Ozarks, our crew traveled to the dam to learn more about what it means for the Natural State.

Matt Franklin, a Park Ranger and National Resource Specialist for the Beaver Lake Project said the main reasons Beaver Dam exists are for flood risk management, hydropower, and public water supply, but recreation is part of the equation too.

“Beaver Lake is part of a multi-dam system to help control or reduce the risk of floods within the White River,” Franklin said. “We’re in the upper White River basin here and so we collect the water in the upper White, and so this water passes on down, as long as there’s capacity to release, it passes water on down into Table Rock and then on down to Taneycomo and then into Bull Shoals as part of a larger system for flood risk management.”

Because the dam is part of a larger system, water control crews in the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District decide how to operate the system when it comes to flood management.

As for Hydropower, Beaver Dam has two units with a capacity of 56,000 kilowatts.

“It’s an authorized purpose of the dam to have hydroelectric power generation and so water will pass through the dam and actually create electricity.”

The Beaver Dam has a far reach when it comes to public water supply

“Anywhere from one in six to one in five Arkansans drink water from Beaver Lake so it’s important to protect those resources,” Franklin said.

There are ways everyone can enjoy Beaver Lake. 12 parks, 700 campsites and 70 access points are available for anyone to use. Franklin said fishing, boating, camping and swimming are all welcome activities on the 10,000 acres around the lake.

Because of this, an important job of the Corps and the local crew at Beaver Lake is good management of the land and water.

“We take an active role in that management in order to protect the water quality and the resource itself,” said Franklin. “And then also we manage it for wildlife, fish habitat, things like that.”

“With the growth of Northwest Arkansas, this is a very important resource for Northwest Arkansas. Again, more and more Arkansans are drinking water from the lake, but again just the overall growth of the population of Northwest Arkansas, this is a wonderful resource that we have here and one that’s gonna continue to be utilized.”