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DSPMP/PFMA - Improving FERC's Dam Safety Program

The D2SI is in the process of revising the way it carries out the dam safety program. While many engineering analyses have been completed for most of the dams several more need to be completed and often re-analyses are necessary.

It is important to make certain that we are properly monitoring the performance of the dams to ensure the safe long term performance of the dams. Therefore, we need to develop additional procedures to make certain analyses are properly meshed with what we are monitoring in the field.

Dam safety programs throughout the world and especially in the United States are by necessity finding new and innovative approaches to maintain safe dams. The necessity arises from the corporate responsibility to maintain and safely operate a viable hydroelectric resource infrastructure competing against dwindling financial resources and an aging infrastructure.

About seventy per cent of the over 2500 dams under FERC regulation are over 50 years old. Many existing dams would be designed and constructed differently today because of a better understanding by the engineering profession of how dams behave, resulting in additional research being undertaken and completed to develop defensive measures based on site specific characteristics. Considering these facts, the dam safety program must evolve to properly monitor and evaluate dams so they remain in a safe operating condition.


Improving FERC's Dam Safety Program