International Affairs

International Affairs Program Mission Statement:

    The International Affairs Program mission is to coordinate international activities for the Bureau of Reclamation and manage training and technical assistance programs in support of U.S. foreign policy goals.

International Affairs Program Objectives:

  • Further U.S. foreign policy
  • Enhance public health and promote sustainable development in developing countries
  • Obtain improved technology for the benefit of Reclamation water users and the United States
  • Provide learning opportunities for Reclamation staff


Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams International Technical Seminar and Study Tour Postponed to 2022

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.


International Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainability Workshop (Virtual Workshop) August 24 through 26, 2021

The Bureau of Reclamation is proud to host this important workshop. The primary goal is to provide participants with important information about reservoir sediment management for long-term sustainability. Participants at this workshop will gain an understanding about reservoir sedimentation processes and rates, as well as how to analyze and develop conceptual designs of reservoir sediment management systems. The course will cover the basic principles of sediment transport and reservoir sedimentation. Participants will learn how to compute sediment loads in rivers and the rate at which these sediments will accumulate in reservoirs and where they will accumulate. Practical examples will be given to participants using actual field data. More advanced numerical modeling will also be introduced that can be used to study alternatives for reservoir sediment management such as sluicing through low-level outlets. The numerical models will be demonstrated on real reservoir sluicing studies. Several additional case studies will be detailed.

The course presenters are experts from the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of reservoir sedimentation processes, sediment transport, and sedimentation impacts in rivers. They have been involved in many projects throughout the world assisting on the design and analysis of sustainable reservoirs.

The workshop is designed for water resource engineers and project managers involved in large scale water projects. All presentations, discussions, and printed materials will be in the English language.  Participants should have a good command of general and technical English usage.


International Best Practices in Risk Analysis Workshop
Postponed to April 2022

Reclamation is proud to host its first International Best Practices in Risk Analysis Workshop. The primary goal of the workshop is to provide participants with an overview of Reclamation’s risk analysis methodology and its proper role within a RIDM oriented dam safety program. Participants at the workshop will gain an understanding of how potential failure modes (PFMs) are conceptualized and developed, how they can be modeled as finite sequences of events, and how the probabilities of those events can be estimated using expert judgment. The course will cover both embankment dams and concrete structures, and also touch upon operational PFMs. Participants will learn how to interpret the numbers generated in a risk analysis and integrate them into the broader dam safety case. In practice, the numbers themselves are not treated as decision criteria, and the decision being recommended by a risk analysis team must be consistent not only with the estimated risks but also the condition of the facility, its geologic and geographic setting, and the loadings that it may experience. 

The course presenters include members of the Reclamation risk cadre and are experienced risk analysis facilitators, peer reviewers, and report authors. They are also considered subject matter experts in the fields of embankment dam design, internal erosion evaluation, structural analysis, and downstream consequence estimation. 





Reclamation Laboratories:  Working With Worldwide Customers

Last Updated: 5/17/21