The formation of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) was prompted by several massive dam failures in the late 1970s, and subsequent national concern about the state of dam safety in this nation.

ASDSO was formed to serve these vital functions:

    1. Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences on dam safety issues.
    2. Foster interstate cooperation.
    3. Provide information and assistance to state dam safety.
    4. Provide representation of state interests before Congress and federal agencies responsible for dam safety.
    5. Help improve state dam safety programs.

In its fulfillment of these goals, ASDSO maintains many programs to heighten public awareness of dam safety, to train state personnel in technical areas of interest, and to maintain channels of communication between states, between government levels, and between the public and private sectors. ASDSO produces research documents to keep the dam safety community abreast of current technical and policy issues and ideas.