Dam safety: A problem not only in Sri Lanka

Posted on February 23, 2011  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia conducted a major study on the safety of the 350 large and medium sized dams and the 12,000 small dams that dot the landscape of Sri Lanka in 2005. In our little way we contributed to the initiation of a project to repair 32 of the most seriously impaired large dams. In the aftermath of 200 plus dams breaching and many others having to be subject to radical measures to save them in the recent dual floods, the issue of dam safety has risen on the public agenda a little. We hope it stays there.

Appears that aging earth dams that are in danger of breaching is not a problem unique to us. It is a major concern in the US, according to the NYT:

Lake Isabella Dam is just one acute example of a widespread problem: Of the nation’s 85,000 dams, more than 4,400 are considered susceptible to failure, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. But repairing all those dams would cost billions of dollars, and it is far from clear who would provide all the money in a recessionary era.

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