Hazard Potential

Hazard potential refers to the possible adverse incremental consequences that result from the release of water due to dam failure or misoperation. Hazard potential classification does NOT reflect current condition of the dam, including safety, structural integrity, or flood routing capacity. Hazard potential classification does NOT indicate the likelihood of dam failure.

Hazard Potential Classification

  • Provides a means of categorizing the consequences of dam failure.
  • Used as a tool for prioritizing dam safety program activities.
  • Used to identify additional regulatory requirements or actions.

Hazard Potential Classification Definitions


Loss of Life

Economic/ Environmental Losses

Low None expected Low and generally limited to owner property
Significant None expected Yes
High Probable, one or more expected Yes (but not necessary for this classification)