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Saylorville Lake

The Land Acquisition Section secured the site for the Saylorville Project, a flood control system for the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers. The Saylorville Lake construction project was authorized by Congress in 1958. Located 11 miles upstream from the city of Des Moines, the flood control system consists of the Saylorville Lake, a 9.3 square mile reservoir, and the Saylorville Dam. In addition to preventing floods, the system helps improve water quality downstream by removing silt, and provides a constant water supply during periods of drought.

US Army Corps of Engineers website

Did you know? As the largest river in Central Iowa, the Des Moines River has a long history of flooding. Major floods occurred on the River in 1851, 1903, 1935, 1938, and 1944, sparking lawmakers to appropriate funds to the construction of local flood protection projects such as Saylorville Lake.


Updated June 16, 2023