Safety assessment involved the review of 134 existing dams, comparing the best international practices in developed countries. A large part of dam safety assessment involves understanding of dam hazards, standards applied in the design and maintenance, as well as expectation and social circumstances under which the dams have been designed and constructed in a particular country.
For example, standards for design floods, ground investigation, selection of design soil parameters and design earthquakes etc. Used are often either non-existent or inadequate, which could lead to an unsafe design. If there are no standards to be applied in dam design and construction, consultants are often under pressure from clients to come up with minimalistic investigation and designs, which, after a few years after dam construction, show signs of deficiencies. Very often countries have no regulations and standards for requirements that should cover maintenance and operation of dams.
Th also describes the Portfolio Risk Assessment of Dams, that can be used as a tool by clients and the funding agencies to identify priority assessment and rehabilitation projects that consider societal and economic losses. It also demonstrates how implementation of Emergency Preparedness Planning could significantly reduce the number of people at risk. Th aims to help clients, consultants and funding agencies which are engaged in dam safety assessment projects in developing countries to focus on issues that are based on the past lessons learnt.