Dam Failure & Incidents Committee

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the committee is to assist the States (in partnership with other stakeholders) to improve the practice of investigating/learning from dam failures and incidents.

The initial objectives of the committee (as the Dam Failure Investigations Committee) were to review recent dam failure investigations, examine investigation practices of other industries, identify needs of the States, consider stakeholders, explore legal issues/funding, and to develop alternatives and recommendations to the ASDSO Board of Directors for improvement of the practice of dam failure investigations. The committee also made recommendations for improving lessons learned from dam failures. The committee developed a Dam Failure Investigation Guideline and a report to the ASDSO Board documenting their research, findings and recommendations.

The ASDSO Board of Directors approved an updated committee charter in September 2013 and the committee's updated goals are the following.

Goal #1:
Maintain and update the Dam Failure Investigation Guideline through ongoing committee research into past dam failures and investigation practices of others.
Goal #2:
Collect and share lessons learned from past dam failures/incidents with the ASDSO membership.
Goal #3:
Provide support to ASDSO and states during and following dam failures and incidents with the goal of advocating for successful investigations by qualified and trained personnel.
Goal #4:
Train the state dam safety officials and other ASDSO members in the best possible industry methods and practices for investigating and reporting on dam failures and incidents.

View the entire committee charter (PDF)


(Committee products will be available for review at this site as they are developed)

  1. The committee developed a guideline document to be provided to a state should there be a dam failure. (Dam Failure Investigation Guideline - 12-10-11)
  2. The committee produced a report for the ASDSO Board with the following items. (Report to the Board - 5-7-12)
    • A review of recent dam failure investigation practices
    • Benchmarking of other industry failure investigation approaches
    • Potential best practices
    • Alternatives for improvement of dam safety failure investigations
    • Investigation of funding alternatives
    • Explore methods for sharing lessons learned following major dam incidents
    • Alternatives for improving the lessons learned from dam failure investigations (including potential model state dam safety program policy)
    • Alternatives for dam failure investigation records management
    • Recommendations
Soapbox Sessions

The committee held Soapbox Sessions at the 2010 and 2011 ASDSO Annual Conferences to discuss issues and gather information.

View the 2010 Annual Conference Soapbox Session Notes and 2011 Annual Conference Soapbox Session Notes

Committee Members

  • Mark Baker, Chair
  • Alon Dominitz, NY
  • Mark Ogden, ASDSO
  • Jason Boyle, MN
  • Robert Clay, MO
  • Lee Mauney, USBR
  • Warren Harris IV, CHA Inc.
  • Wayne King, FERC
  • Irfan Alvi, Alvi Associates
  • Neil Schwanz, USACE
  • Dusty Myers, MS
  • Jim Pawloski, MI
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