Extreme Precipitation and Dam Safety in a Changing Climate






Essential to dam design and dam safety is the reliable assessment of hydrometeorological hazards such as extreme precipitation events and associated flooding. The traditional methods for assessing these hazards, such as estimation of Probable Maximum Precipitation, assume stationarity in risk over time and into the future. However, the climate at global, national, and local scales has become clearly non-stationary in recent decades, and there is increasing evidence that climate change is affecting key aspects of extreme events and storm environments. The best available science indicates that these changes and their overall impacts on extreme precipitation will become even larger over the next several decades. 

In this webinar, we will first review the physical mechanisms that govern extreme precipitation events, the state of the science on the observed and expected changes in these mechanisms, and the overall effects on extreme precipitation events in the U.S. Then, we will describe how key federal agencies and others in the dam safety community have responded to these risks from a changing climate by reconsidering traditional practices, conducting pilot studies, and issuing new guidance. We will conclude by outlining potential pathways for dam safety programs and dam owners to incorporate climate-change risk into regulation and practice, highlighting recent experience in the states of Colorado and New Mexico. 

Five Learning Objectives of This Webinar: 

  • Learn how assumptions of climate stationarity are embedded in current practice.   
  • Understand the physical mechanisms that govern extreme precipitation.
  • Learn about the state of scientific knowledge on climate change and its anticipated effects on extreme precipitation.
  • Learn about some of the responses by the dam safety community to the challenges posed by a changing climate.
  • Understand different pathways to incorporate the additional risk from climate change in regulation and practice. 

View the full webinar agenda!

Registration Fees: Register Online Now!

  • Member Rate: $99
  • Non-Member Rate: $130 - Join ASDSO before registering and save!

This course qualifies for 2 PDHs.

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