Dams are critical infrastructures whose safety must be properly managed. Traditional decision-making approaches often assume the stationarity of factors defining risk. However, dam risk is susceptible to evolve with time. Risk can no longer be considered a static but a time-dependent concept which cumulative value must be reduced for different timescales. A broader perspective to dynamically evaluate time issues in the prioritization of measures is thus required.

A new approach has been proposed in this paper (Comprehensive decision-making approach for managing time dependent dam risks) for dam risk management in the long term that considers the potential evolution of risk. A new time-dependent risk indicator that allows assessing the efficiency of adaptation measures in optimally reducing dam risks has been defined: the Aggregated Adjusted Cost per Statistical Life Saved (AACSLS). Its use makes it possible to better design risk reduction measures and to plan the implementation sequence that maximizes their effectiveness.

f-N points representing the estimation of failure probability and loss of life based on the risk results from 2005 to 2099

The methodology has been applied to the case study of a Spanish dam under the effects of climate change. Different risk reduction measures have been proposed and their effects have been analyzed for a specific time horizon. The use of the AACSLS indicator has allowed identifying the prioritization of measures that optimizes the allocation of economic resources in the long term.

Reference: Fluixá-Sanmartín, J., Escuder-Bueno, I., Morales-Torres, A., and Castillo-Rodríguez, J. T. (2020). Comprehensive decision-making approach for managing time dependent dam risks. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 203, 107100.

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