Risk Management

The Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for over 360 high and significant hazard storage dams and dikes that form a part of the water resources infrastructure for the western United States. As the owner of these facilities, Reclamation is committed to providing the public and the environment with adequate protection from the risks which are inherent to collecting and storing large volumes of water for subsequent distribution and/or release.

Reclamation has established a risk-informed framework to meet the objectives of its program, the Safety of Dams Act, and the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety. Risk-informed procedures are used to assess the safety of Reclamation structures, to aid in making decisions to protect the public from the potential consequences of dam failure, to assist in prioritizing the allocation of resources, and to support justification for risk reduction actions where needed. Risk assessment for dam safety decision-making integrates the analytical methods of traditional engineering analyses and risk-based analysis along with the sound professional judgment of engineers, review boards, and decision-makers in determining reasonable actions to reduce risk at Reclamation facilities. To estimate the risks associated with its structures, Reclamation has established procedures to analyze data and assess the condition of its structures.

Risk Cadre:

In 1998, the first team was formed within Reclamation's Technical Service Center (TSC), Denver, CO to help develop Risk Analysis procedures. Select "Risk Cadre" if you want information on the makeup of the present team and ion their tasks and specialties.


A listing of various papers and documents that describe Reclamation's use of Risk Analysis and Risk Assessment are available for download. Also included is a listing of various general references found useful in understanding Risk Analysis Procedures.

Best Practices and Risk Methodology:

Find out more about the Reclamation's Risk Methodology and "Best Practices". The Dam Safety Risk Analysis Best Practices Training Manual is the foundation for Reclamation's Risk Analysis process and is provided in the five-day training course. The Best Practices course was jointly developed by Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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Last Updated: 8/4/15