Bureau of Reclamation Banner

Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams
International Technical Seminar and Study Tour
June 9-16, 2014

Denver, Colorado, USA, with site visits to Reclamation facilities in western USA

Registration Form | Agenda

Introduction/Seminar Objectives  In most countries throughout the world, interest in the safety of dams has risen significantly in recent years.  Aging dams, new hydrologic information, and population growth in floodplain areas downstream from dams has resulted in an increased emphasis on dam safety evaluation as well as operation and maintenance related to the safety of dams.

Those responsible for the safety of existing dams must implement policies and procedures that warrant public confidence.  This demands professional practices that incorporate the lessons of the past and conform to the most advanced technical state-of-the-art.  The need for trained personnel is essential.   This seminar will provide professional personnel with a comprehensive guide to establishing or enhancing a visual inspection/evaluation program and increase the technical capabilities of those responsible for safety evaluations.

Bureau of Reclamation officials will provide the training for the seminar.  Reclamation is responsible for the proper operation, maintenance, and structural safety of more than 400 dams and distribution systems.  Reclamation has conducted similar seminars for its own staff, as well as for more than 5,000 technical and administrative officials from other domestic and international agencies.

Seminar Topics The first portion of the seminar, will take place in Denver, Colorado, and will consist primarily of classroom presentations and discussions.   A tour of the Bureau of Reclamation Research Laboratories will also be featured. Lectures, case histories, and structured discussions covering all aspects of a dam safety examination program are led by Reclamation engineers or geologists with extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of design, construction, operation, maintenance, and dam safety.  The course outlines the hydrologic, seismic, geotechnical, electrical, mechanical and structural considerations of dam safety as well as operation, maintenance, surveillance, and emergency preparedness.  Presentations, case histories, and a walk-through abbreviated examination are used to present the multidiscipline approach to an effective safety of dams program.

Site Visits The post session site visits from June 13-16, will take participants to Pueblo Dam, a local Reclamation Dam in Colorado, and the state of Nevada, where participants will enjoy a VIP TOUR of Hoover Dam.

Pueblo DamPueblo Dam- located on the Arkansas River about 10 kilometers (or 9.6km) (6-miles) upstream and west of the city of Pueblo, Colorado. The reservoir has a total storage capacity of 432 million cubic meters (350,000 acre-feet). The concrete dam and massive-head buttress-type spillway structure is the principal control structure for the reservoir.  It is flanked by two embankment wing dams, a right embankment with a crest length of 311 meters (1,020 feet) and a left embankment with a crest length of 220 meters (720 feet).  The spillway within the concrete section has a crest width of 168 meters (550 feet) and was designed for a maximum spill discharge of 5,423 cubic meters per second (191,500 cubic feet per second) at the maximum water surface elevation.  The river outlet works in controlled by two 1.2-by-1.2 meter (4-by 4-foot) high-pressure gates and regulate normal water releases into the river.  Additional releases may be made to the river through three separate spillway outlet works.  Two 2-by-2-meter (6-by 6.5-foot) high-pressure gates control each outlet work. 

Hoover PhotoHoover Dam - Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, spanning the Arizona-Nevada state line, are located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River about 56 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.  It is a concrete thick-arch structure, 221 meters high (726.4 feet) and 379 meters long (1,244 feet).  The dam contains 2.48 million cubic meters (3.25 million cubic yards) of concrete; total concrete in the dam and appurtenant works is 3.36 million cubic meters (4.4 million cubic yards).  Built during the Depression; thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River.  It took less than five years, in a harsh and barren land, to build the largest dam of its time.  Now, years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure.  The Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.

Who Should Attend  The seminar is designed for managers, administrators, engineers, and geologists responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and safety of dams.  Policymakers and planners, as well as those with technical responsibilities, may also benefit from the seminar.  All presentations, discussions, and printed materials will be in the English language.  Participants should have a good command of general and technical English usage.

Costs/Registration  The registration fee is U.S. $3,100 per person and includes various printed and electronic materials, most breakfast and lunches, motorcoach transportation, and airfare and hotel accommodations during the study tour June 13-16, 2014.

Hotel accommodations while in Denver, Colorado, must be reserved and paid for by the participant.  A block of rooms have been reserved at the Marriott Springhill Suites, 1190 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204, at a special rate of $156 per night plus tax.   Please use the following methods for reservations:       

Please reserve your room early to ensure availability.  The special rate is available until May 19, 2014.  Reservations made after  May 19, 2014, will be at the prevailing room rate, subject to availability.

It is strongly recommended that individuals apply as soon as possible for visas and seek sponsorship, if necessary.  Funding is not available from the seminar organizers.  Please submit a legible copy of your passport with your registration form.

Payment should accompany the registration form.  The preferred method of payment is a credit card.  Wire transfer and checks are accepted.  Checks should be in U.S. dollars and made payable to the Bureau of Reclamation.  Registration form must be received before
May 19, 2014. 
Due to contractual arrangements with hotels and airlines any registration forms received after the deadline, will incur a registration fee of $3,500.

International travel should be arranged into Denver, Colorado, no later than Sunday, June 8, 2014, and out of Las Vegas, Nevada, no earlier than Tuesday, June 17, 2014. 

Climate/Clothing Suggestions/Medical Insurance Participants should expect warm days and nights.  Casual clothing and work boots/sturdy closed-toed shoes are required on field tours.  Accidental injury/medical emergency insurance is strongly recommended and should be purchased prior to traveling to the United States.  Reclamation is not financially responsible for any illnesses or injuries that may be incurred by participants.  Please refer to the following website for reference. http://www.medexassist.com/Individuals/Products/travmedchoice.aspx

Further Information Contact the International Affairs - Denver, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, Colorado 80225, telephone 1-303-445-2127 or 1-303-445-2139, fax 1-303-445-6322.  E-mail inquiries to should be sent to Lprincipe@usbr.gov  (Leanna Principe) or Amedina@usbr.gov (Angela Medina).  Information contained in this announcement can also be located at www.usbr.gov/international.               


Last updated: 3/10/14