Perspectives Archive

Dams as Systems

A common view of a dam is to think of the major water retention structure(s) (the dam) that was built to create the reservoir. However, it is more realistic to view the dam as a system; a system of structures (natural and man-made), the reservoir and its boundaries, mechanical and electrical components, and operators. More importantly, the successful performance of a dam system depends on the aggregate satisfactory performance of the system that prevents a failure and uncontrolled release of the reservoir.


About Dam Incidents

Dam incidents are events of engineering and safety interest that provide insight into the structural and functional integrity of dam systems and their operation.

This definition includes successes as well as failures. Information on success stories is as important as events involving failures.