The nature of public interaction with dams is changing and guidance is needed to increase public safety around dams. Public interaction with dams is increasing for several reasons, including lack of awareness of hazards, public interest in “extreme” sports, recreational vehicles improving access, a perceived right of public access to sites, and the remote operation of dams. Dam owners need to consider how the public interacts with and around their dam, and establish appropriate procedures, restrictions, and safety measures.
Public Safety Around Dams
Here are resources to further explain the risks of public interactions with dams and processes to address this issue.
ASDSO’s Public Safety Around Dams website - This website highlights various public awareness and public safety initiatives that have been moutned by dam owners, states, and communities to help prevent drownings at dams.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ Public Safety Around Dams Best Management Practices – This publication outlines best management practices that have been prepared to provide dam owners with guidance on the identification of public safety hazards associated with a dam, and the measures that can be taken by the owner to either eliminate or mitigate these hazards.
Canadian Dam Association’s Guidelines, Tool & Resources presentation by Tony Bennett – This presentation discusses the risks related to public interaction with and around dams, and highlights real-world examples of public safety incidents. It also covers guidelines for public safety around dams that dam owners can consider for implementation.
Public Safety Around Dams presentation by Tony Bennett – This presentation discusses the risks related to public interaction with dams and how public safety risks have changed. It also highlights opportunities to further reduce risk through better guidelines, practical tools, strategic partnerships, and research to improve understanding.
FERC’s Safety Signage at Hydropower Projects - This document was developed by FERC to provide hydropower project owners with easy-to-access information and examples of safety signage suitable for use at their facilities.
Public engagement and outreach is a key component to dam safety. Engage your community on National Dam Safety Awareness Day to bring awareness to the benefits and risks of dams.