Dam Safety 2019: Opening General Session

When: Monday, September 9 : 8:30 am - 10:00 am

Opening General Session: Adapting to Climate Change. Challenging Ourselves to Get Ahead of the Risk

Should the Dam Safety Community consider how recently observed extreme weather changes are impacting our dam infrastructure? What do we know, what don’t we know and what decisions can and should be made as a national dam safety engineering community now and in the future to ensure a future where all dams are safe?

Let’s Hear From the Climatologists: A Review of the Observed Data
Speaker: Kenneth E. Kunkel, Research Professor, Dept. of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, Lead Scientist for Assessments, North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies North Carolina State University

Hurricanes Harvey and Florence, Are Storms Changing and How Does This Effect PMP Depths?
Bill Kappel will focus on what the data from Hurricanes Harvey and Florence show us about the occurrences of storms meeting or exceeding Probable Maximum Precipitation depths. Are these storms occurring more often? The presentation will compare these two storms to previous storms, against previous PMP depths from the HMRs, and against previous and current AWA PMP depths; and, will discuss whether these storms are different from previous extreme events or simply continuing to fill in the overall extreme storm database used to calculate PMP estimates.

Speakers: Bill Kappel, Applied Weather Associates

Let’s Apply This Knowledge to Dam Safety and Be Creative
Bill will talk about the Colorado-New Mexico Regional Extreme Precipitation Study (REPS) which took a comprehensive approach to estimating rainfall for spillway design and included consideration of climate change impacts on PMP-type events. Bill will describe the use of the SQRA approach of likelihood and confidence to justify the addition of a climate change factor into Colorado’s updated (2019) Rules and Regulation for Dam Safety and Dam Construction. Bill will also describe the REPS team’s work to engage Federal agencies (including NOAA) in the advancement of these methods in the interest of state dam safety programs across the country.

Speaker: Bill McCormick, P.E., Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Special thanks to our sustaining members