Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz announced that Dena Barnhouse was chosen to serve as chief of the Division of Water Resources.
In this role, Barnhouse will oversee the division’s efforts to manage statewide regulation of dams and levees, floodplain management, and the collection of data for water inventory and planning.
An ODNR employee since 1999, Barnhouse is a registered professional engineer in Ohio with nearly 30 years of experience in the field. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Her previous positions at the department include acting chief of the Division of Water Resources and program manager for the dam safety and floodplain management programs.
“Dena Barnhouse’s decades of experience as a professional engineer and manager with the Division of Water Resources make her the ideal candidate to lead this critical aspect of ODNR’s work protecting Ohioans and their communities,” said Mertz.
ODNR owns and operates 116 Class I, II and III dams around Ohio and the Division of Water Resources is responsible for inspecting and regulating more than 1,500 public and privately-owned dams statewide. ODNR works to ensure that dam systems are properly maintained and operated for the public’s safety.