NPDP Database System Updates

Date Update
10/11/2015 Today we launched our new database system. It is still a work in progress and it is evolving.

First, what’s new about the hardware/software part of the system:
  • Our website has been moved to a Stanford University server. This provides:
    • greater security for the website and our data,
    • improved system maintenance,
    • more reliable power backup, and
    • daily system backups.
  • We are using a website management system that makes it easier to add new features, manage changes to the site content, etc.
  • We have moved from Oracle as our database system to MySQL.

On the database content and feature side:

  • Database Structure - We have restructured our database. The core elements of the database are:
    • Dams Directory (Catalogue of Dams)
    • Dam Incidents (Events of engineering interest such as dam failures, repairs, modifications, earthquake events, etc.)
    • Failure Modes (Database of failure modes identified as part of potential failure mode studies as well as observed failure modes)
    • Lessons (Lessons that have been identified from the performance of dams)

    These are being linked so the user can see for example failure modes that have actually been observed as part of real incidents, what the lessons were, etc.

  • Dams Directory – The data on U.S. dams has been updated
  • Dams Directory - We have added international dams to our Dams Directory. There are now 134,253 dams in the Dams Directory.
  • Mapping Feature – We have added a Google Maps mapping feature. A Couple of Notes: 1) When you map a dam, you will notice the pin does not always fall on the dam. We rely on other data sources for the Dams Directory data. We have not systematically verified all the data in these other datasets. 2) Currently not all international dams have latitude and longitude data associated with them. As result, not all dams can be mapped. We are working on this and will add latitude and longitude data as we get it.
  • Consequence Data – We have greatly expanded the consequence database content; more fields covering more elements of the costs of dam incidents and failure. The bad news is, there is not much data available to populate this database, but we are ready as data becomes available.
  • Real-Time Earthquake Application – The real-time earthquake identification and mapping application has returned. New features include:
    • We now map all earthquakes above magnitude 4.5 world-wide
  • Digital Library – We are building a digital library of documents that can either be immediately retrieved, or if it is copyrighted we will provide the link where you view or obtain the document.


Under the heading, there’s always something! Let us know if you see any bugs or issues. We will get on it as soon as possible:


As we add new features and expand the database we will let you know. Some of the things to look out for in the months ahead:
  • The addition of dam incidents at international dams
  • Expansion of the earthquake catalogue that will allow historical data searches for specific dams
  • Addition of over 1,400 references related to the seismic performance of dams
  • Post-tensioned anchor database
  • Failure mode data from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensee potential failure mode analysis studies