Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Dam Safety and Dams Hazards

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  • Abstract 

    Dam safety hazards towards human communities have increased tremendously during the last decades. They have resulted from dam safety problems leading to failure and being exasperated by the large losses at downstream areas due to increasing populations and land use. In this work, an attempt is being made to review the procedures being followed to reduces these hazards by improving dams safety standards. Classification of dams by their potential hazards are explained as used today for prioritize remedial actions in various countries of the world. The guiding principles of these classification are indicated and they are based on height of such dams and their storage and linked to the potential damage and harm they can create. Normally such classification and follow up actions are supported by various legislations and regulations issued by the respective governments. Moreover, conventions signed by riparian countries promote cooperation on mitigating safety problems of dams on transboundary rivers. Examples of such legislations and conventions are mentioned. Looking for having safer dams is an objective continually which is being pursued as more dams are needed in the future while existing dams continue to serve their objectives. Therefore, using lessons learned from previous failures is recommended taking the question of loss of life as a main doctrine.

    Keywords: Dam Safety, Dam Hazards, Dams Classification, Potential Hazard, Loss of life.