Experts meeting to discuss dam safety in Denver

Dam safety is an issue around the world with billions living in areas that could potentially be affected by infrastructure failure.

In the United States alone, the average age of nearly 84,000 dams is more than 50 years old, prompting the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to give the country’s dams an overall grade of D on its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

Elsewhere in the world, even new dams haven’t been immune to questions regarding their safety — making the consequences of dam failure more significant now than ever before.

A panel will meet later this month in Denver, Colo., to discuss these issues, with topics to include damage to property and the environment, liability to the dam owner, evaluations of current and future developments, calculating economic exposure and more.

Included on the expert panel are:

  • Wanye King, Regional Engineer, Atlanta Regional Office, Division of Safety and Inspections, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, United States
  • Christopher Behr, Principal Economist, HDR, United States
  • Wayne Graham, Hydraulic Engineer, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior, United States
  • Eric Gross, Risk Criteria Team, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, United States
  • Chris Rose, Property Consultant — Engineering Lines, Zurich North America, United States
  • Hasan Tosun, Professor, Osmangazi University, Turkey

The discussion, called “Dam Failure Consequences — What is Your Exposure?”, is included as part of HydroVision International 2013’s Civil Works & Dam Safety track.

“Dams and hydropower projects often go hand-in-hand,” said Marla Barnes, event director and publisher of PennWell’s Hydro Group. “Knowing how to minimize and cope with the effects of dam failure is essential.”

The two-hour session begins at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, and is one of 73 being offered in HydroVision International 2013’s educational slate that includes seven program tracks, three technical paper tracks and poster gallery.

HydroVision International 2013 is the world’s largest event dedicated entirely to the hydropower industry. This year’s conference and exhibition runs July 23-26 at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center.

For more information, or to register as an attendee, visit

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