Objectives of the Program include:

  • Encouraging high safety standards and regulations in the practices and procedures for dam site investigation, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and emergency preparedness.
  • Maintaining updated and accurate inventory of dams, physical conditions, and potential hazard classifications.
  • Promoting a continuous, dynamic process where guidelines, practices, and procedures are examined periodically and updated.
  • Cooperating with all public and private agencies involved in dam safety activities including owner training and dissemination of information to the public.
  • Emergency preparedness.

No dam can ever be completely “fail-safe” because of inherent uncertainties associated with any man-made structure. These uncertainties may include destructive forces (natural or manmade), response of construction materials (particularly natural soils or geologic features), outdated design practices, undocumented construction practices including modifications, and increasing hazard potential with downstream population growth. The goal of making dams as safe as practical implies a limit to maximum reasonable effort.

Program Achievements

Ongoing achievements of the Program include:

  • Conducting safety inspections of all regulated dams.
  • Working with owners to develop remediation plans for deficiencies identified in the safety inspections.
  • Conducting additional inspections as needed after natural disasters (e.g. 2006 Kiholo Bay earthquake, Dec 2008 floods).
  • Preparing hazard classification studies for all regulated dams. 
  • Working with owners to develop or update their Emergency Action Plans for each facility.
  • Updating State legislature pertaining to Dam Safety.
  • Reviewing permit applications and working with owners who are constructing or modifying dam facilities to comply with dam safety standards.
  • Providing technical training to dam owners and operators, including topics like preparing Emergency Action Plans and dam facility maintenance.

Further details of the Program’s activities and achievements can be found in the annual reports submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for the preceding fiscal year.