ASDSO Resources

ASDSO Resources

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Awareness Materials 

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Living With Dams: Know Your Risks 
Booklet prepared by ASDSO in conjunction with FEMA to help answer questions about dams: what purposes they serve, associated risks, guidance for those living near dams, and where to find further information. Email [email protected] to request hard copies. 

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Living With Dams: Extreme Rainfall Events
The second in a series of public awareness booklets by the ASDSO Dam Owner Outreach Committee, the purpose of this publication is to help explain and justify the engineering principles involved with predicting extreme rainfall events and how they are used to design safe, functional and economical dams. Email [email protected] to request hard copies. 

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The Cost of Rehabilitating Dams in the U.S. (2023)
In 2022, the ASDSO Board of Directors established a task force to review and update the methodology and processes that were developed several years earlier by ASDSO to estimate the costs to rehabilitate non-federal dams in the United States (U.S.). This was a one-year project financed by ASDSO. The updated methodology and processes used readily available data to estimate the number of dams in need of rehabilitation based on dam height, age, and Condition Assessment rating. Data from more than 500 dam rehabilitation projects nationwide, ranging from $10,000 to more than $500 million, was used in determining the total amount of funding needed for dam rehabilitation at a national level.
The purpose of this report is to inform national and state policy decisions and provide the public and the media with a high-level understanding of the national dam rehabilitation need in terms of estimated costs. The findings and methodologies are not meant to be used to estimate a specific dam rehabilitation cost.


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Dam Owner Fact Sheet Booklet (2022)
ASDSO has developed a booklet of fact sheets that provides guidance on specific issues many dam owners face. More information, as well as individual fact sheets, can be found under the Resources for Dam Owners and Operators section.



Summary of State Laws and Regulations on Dam Safety (2020)
This publication is a summarization of the United States’ state laws and regulations pertaining to dam safety. Although laws and regulations vary from state to state, this document categorizes the main functions of each state’s policies and thus create a quick reference to specific issues.

Dam Failure and Incident Investigation Guide (2021)
This guide shares lessons from previous dam incident and failure experiences and is designed to assist state dam safety agencies and dam owners in making good decisions during the chaotic and high-stress period during and following a dam failure or major incident. As with any guide, it is expected that some refinements may be identified as more investigations are completed. As such, this guide is being issued as a “living document”, with the expectation that applicable revisions or updates will be made as necessary. The initial version was published in December 2011. This current version 2.0, dated March 2021, features revisions from lessons learned during the past ten years.

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Developing Emergency Action Plans - Using the NRCS Sample EAP “Fillable Form” Template
In 2004, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) launched a joint effort to develop a sample EAP for earthen high hazard dams. Through this effort, NRCS revised agency policy relating to content and format of EAPs and prepared a final sample EAP. NRCS also developed an electronic “fillable form” template, instructions, and helpful hints to prepare site specific EAPs. Many States have adapted this sample as a basis for their EAPs.

Additional ASDSO Websites


Lessons Learned from Dam Failures and Incidents -
Presented within this website are links to individual case studies as well as lessons learned pages that summarize historical dam incidents and failures and the valuable information gleaned from them.  Each page contains background and description, photographs, videos, best practices, and other resources related to the case study or lessons learned being addressed.  The contents of this webpage encompass a range of failure modes, dam types, and dam safety topics including best practices regarding engineering and design practices.

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Dam Safety Toolbox -
Through this new website, any professional can quickly build their knowledge of dam safety basics through resources curated by leaders in the industry. Users can explore dozens of pages on dam safety fundamentals, management, and technical topics. ASDSO members can contribute to the site using the wiki-based editing system. Edits are reviewed and approved by the Dam Safety Toolbox Committee.


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ASDSO Failure Modes Series: (YouTube Playlist)

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Dam Owner Academy: (Youtube Playlist)
The Dam Owner Academy is a series of videos to educate and inform owners on all aspects of operating and maintaining a dam safely. The videos concisely present the critical basics of owner responsibilities and are available as a free resource for owners and those conducting owner outreach programs. Over the next few years, ASDSO will release additional videos and tools as part of the Dam Owner Academy. For future videos, subscribe to ASDSO's Youtube Channel and check

Members Only

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ASDSO Conference Papers
Papers and extended abstracts are available through the Dam Safety Reference Database. Available to members only.

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The Journal of Dam Safety
Articles are available through the Dam Safety Reference Database. Available to members only.

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Your professional network can be your most powerful industry resource. On Collaborate, you can connect with peers worldwide to share best practices and discuss key issues. Available to members only.

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Surveys Archive
Surveys of state regulatory programs starting in 1988. Available to members only.