In order to have safe dams, Colorado dams have to be designed and built to be safe. Therefore, the Dam Safety branch has developed Rules and Guidelines and Standard Forms for all stages of the dam permit or dam alteration process.
Jurisdictional Size Dams must be approved by the State Engineer before construction. These dams are structures having a statutory height greater than ten feet to the spillway crest, or creating a reservoir with more than 100 acre-feet of water, or covering more than 20 acres at the high waterline.
Non-Jurisdictional Size Dams are smaller in size than jurisdictional size dams. Plans and specifications are not required for construction, however, filing of a Notice of Intent to Construct a Non-Jurisdictional Water Impoundment Structure is required.