One-day Course: Failure assessment and emergency preparedness of dams


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About the course

Effective Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) at high hazard potential dams is a key issue to reduce loss of life and property damage from dam failure. Dam risk mitigation is achieved by increasing dam safety, reducing potential consequences of dam-break floods and improving the preparedness of dam owners and operators, dam safety managers, emergency officials and the people at risk in the downstream valley.

This one-day course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most important aspects of dam safety evaluation and failure, dam-break flood risk assessment and emergency planning. It is developed by geotechnical, structural and hydraulic experts and comprises four modules: i) risk-based dam safety evaluation; ii) risk mitigation and emergency preparedness planning; iii) detection and classification of anomalies and causes of dam failure and iv) dam-break flood risk assessment.

The purpose of the first module is to provide an overview on risk-based dam evaluation. It begins with the presentation of the lessons learned from case histories and is followed by the description of current methods and tools available for estimating the likelihood of dam failure, including fault tree construction and evaluation and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) method. This module ends with the presentation of methodologies to estimate consequences of dam failure, analyzing scenarios to determine dam failures and assessing potential consequences, including economic, social, institutional and environmental damages.

In the second module, special importance is given to the methods used to estimate the potential for loss of life resulting from dam failure. The course also emphasizes, in this module, the importance of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), defines its components, and provides guidance on developing and implementing the EAP.

The third module concerns emergency detection, evaluation and classification. Early detection and evaluation of the situation or triggering event that initiate an emergency action are essential. The course emphasizes the establishment of procedures for reliable and timely classification based in safety dam inspections, behavior analysis and remedial actions for dam safety for both, embankments and concrete dams.

The fourth module is dedicated to dam-break modeling using a simplified methodology and using the unsteady state flow HEC-RAS model and GEO-RAS interface. These methodologies include outflow peak or hydrograph flow computing as well as flood routing in the downstream valley. Special emphasis will be given to tools and techniques for flood-prone areas delineation and characterization.


Important notes

  • The number of participants is limited to 30
  • The organization may decide to cancel the course
    if a minimum number of participants is not achieved


Registration Fee: 250 EUROS

Lunch and refreshments are included in the registration fee