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Best Practices and Risk Methodology

The Bureau of Reclamation has been using risk analysis as the primary support for dam safety decision-making for about 15 years, and has developed procedures to analyze risks for a multitude of potential failure modes. Manuals, guidelines, standards, and practical reference material on how to perform risk analysis for dam safety applications are lacking. The Best Practices Training Manual contains what are considered the "Best Practices" currently in use for estimating dam safety risks at the Bureau of Reclamation. Risk analysis at the Bureau of Reclamation has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve. Therefore, updates to this manual are planned in the future as significant improvements are developed.

From the outset of implementing risk analysis, Reclamation recognized that procedures and data available for dam safety risk analysis, while quantitative, do not provide precise numerical results. Therefore, this manual strives to present useful information, tools, and techniques, while stopping short of a "cookbook" approach. This allows the risk analyst(s) to use the proper balance of engineering judgment and calculations in estimating risks, and to understand and "build the case" for what is influencing the risks the most. Thus, the numbers, while important, are less important than understanding and documenting what the major risk contributors are and why.

The Bureau of Reclamation conducts risk analysis at different levels, from screening level analyses performed by an individual (with peer review) during a Comprehensive Facility Review (CFR), to full blown facilitated team risk analyses, which include participation by field personnel. It is envisioned that the tools presented in this manual can be used for any level of risk analysis. The primary difference will be the level of detail to which the analyses are carried. These differences are noted where appropriate.

Contact for course information: Bill Fiedler (WFiedler@usbr.gov)

Best Practices Chapters

Please note that these documents are intended to serve as instruction material during the training course of the same name and should not be used as a stand-alone reference. In many cases, additional details should be sought from the available references or an experienced risk analyst.
Internal Erosion Tables
 
Chapter Title Latest Update
0

Cover, Introduction, and Table of Contents
Spine
Presentation

June 2012
1
Risk Guidelines
Presentation
November 5, 2012
2
Potential Failure Mode Identification, Description, and Screening
Presentation
April 6, 2010
3
Qualitative and Semi-Quantitative
Presentation
November 10, 2012
4
Building the Case
Presentation
November 16, 2012
5
Basic Probability and Statistics
Presentation
December 7, 2012
6
Seismic Hazard Analysis
Presentation
September 6, 2012
7
Hydrologic Hazard Analysis
Presentation
November 26, 2012
8
Water Level Exceedance Curves
Presentation
December 7, 2012
9
Consequences of Dam Failure
Presentation
November 26, 2012
10
Engineering Geology
Presentation
November 16, 2012
11
Event Trees
Presentation
December 7, 2012
12
Reliability Analysis
Presentation
October 31, 2012
13
Subjective Probability
Presentation
November 16, 2012
14
Reinforced Concrete
Presentation
September 28, 2012
15
Erosion of Rock and Soil
Presentation
November 26, 2012
16
Flood Overtopping Failure of Dams
Presentation
November 26, 2012
17 & 18
17 - Seismic Spillway Pier Failure
18 - Seismic Failure of Walls
Presentation
November 26, 2012
19
Buttress Dams
Presentation
October 9, 2012
20
Concrete Gravity Structures
Presentation
September 21, 2012
21
Arch Dams
Presentation
October 9, 2012
22 & 23
Stagnation Pressure Failure
Cavitation Induced Failure
Presentation
October 3, 2012
24
Overtopping of Walls and Stilling Basin Failure
Presentation
June 20, 2009
25
Levee Floodwalls
Presentation
November 7, 2012
26
Internal Erosion
Presentation
December 7, 2012
27
Seismic Embankment
Presentation
December 7, 2012
28
Landslides
Presentation
September 27, 2012
29, 30, and 31
29 - Seismic Failure of Spillway Radial Gates
30 - Trunnion Friction Radial Gate Failure
31 - Drum Gates and Other Gates
Presentation
October 9, 2012
32
Mechanical and Electrical Systems
Presentation
September 27, 2012
33
Operational Failure
Presentation
October 31, 2012
34
Construction Risks
Presentation
October 31, 2012
35
Combining and Portraying Risks
Presentation
December 7, 2012
36
Facilitating
Presentation
November 20, 2012
37
Possible Exercise Solutions
Smoky Ridge Exercise A
Smoky Ridge Exercise B
Smoky Ridge Exercise C
 

 


Last Updated: 08/09/2013
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