Conemaugh River Lake, authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, is one of 16 flood damage reduction projects in the Pittsburgh District. Conemaugh Dam provides flood protection for the lower Conemaugh Valley, the Kiskiminetas Valley, the lower Allegheny Valley, and the upper Ohio River Valley.

Since its completion in 1952, the project has prevented more than $582 million in flood damages. In June 1972, when tropic storm Agnes struck the area, this project alone prevented $225 million in flood damage. These flood control benefits were the greatest ever realized by a project in the Pittsburgh District. The dam was able to prevent four feet of flood waters from reaching Point State Park in Pittsburgh.

To implement the production of hydroelectric power at the dam, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission issued a license to the Borough of Saltsburg, in association with Pennsylvania Renewable Resources Associates, for construction of a plant 1,200 feet downstream from the dam. This plant produces 16 megawatts of energy from two turbine generator units.

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