The 2014 USSD Conference theme is Dams and Extreme Events Reducing Risk of Aging Infrastructure under Extreme Loading Conditions. The nation’s 80,000 dams are aging, and more than 75 percent of these facilities are more than 50 years old. However, the criticality of these facilities has increased over time as a result of the ever increasing demands for water, flood control and energy. In addition, many older low and significant hazard dams that were constructed to protect agricultural interests are now protecting people and personal property. As a result, many of these structures’ classifications have changed to high hazard, bringing new costly challenges for owners to retrofit or modify existing dams in response to the new role of the structure.
Methods for predicting, analyzing and applying loading conditions from extreme events are considerably different today than when many of the nation’s existing dams were designed and constructed. While many of the older facilities were designed conservatively, others have been found to be considerably under-designed using modern criteria for seismic and/or hydraulic loading conditions.
While many dam owners are faced with the decision of either life extension or retirement of aging facilities, a renewed focus on dam safety risk reduction for extreme loading conditions through prudent economic investment is paramount to making wise decisions. Use of risk analyses tools to prioritize spending and identify investments that provide substantial risk reduction are keys for creating and sustaining responsible water resources and energy projects. Responsible and focused investment to extend the life of existing facilities and construct new facilities that perform safely under extreme loading conditions is essential, especially when one considers the additional investment that is required to be sensitive to the environmental, social, financial, geographical and political needs of an ever increasing population in need of sustainable water resources, flood control and energy projects.
On the private side, expansion of mining interests and high prices for commodities have created resurgence in the need for tailings dams and other waste disposal facilities. Regulations and design requirements for these facilities vary widely from state to state. As more and more of these facilities are designed and constructed, the need for development of best practices to economically accommodate extreme loading conditions increases.
The theme for this 34th Annual Conference highlights the need for continued innovation in prediction and analysis of loading conditions from extreme events, and the need to apply these advances to make prudent investments to reduce risk and economically meet the ever increasing needs for responsible water resources, flood control, energy and mining projects.
The 34th USSD Annual Meeting and Conference will be held in San Francisco, California. A Planning Committee, chaired by Daniel L. Wade, has organized the Technical Program.
Activities will begin on Monday, April 7, with USSD Committee Meetings, followed by the Annual Meeting of Members. Participants and guests will enjoy networking and socializing during the Kick-off Reception on Monday evening.
A Tuesday morning Plenary Session, featuring invited speakers discussing timely dams and water resource issues will begin the Conference Technical Program. On Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday, oral presentations during concurrent technical sessions, as well as a poster session on Tuesday evening, will address the Conference Theme. Papers will be selected from abstracts submitted in response to this Call for Papers.
During the Closing Banquet on Wednesday night, awards for the Outstanding Paper, Excellence in the Constructed Project, Outstanding Poster Presentation, and Outstanding Paper by a Young Professional will be presented. Young Professionals (age 35 and younger) are encouraged to submit abstracts, and will receive a reduced Conference registration fee.
The Host for the Annual Meeting and Conference will be the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, with support from other firms with a significant local presence.
Exhibition and Sponsorships
Exhibition space will be available during the Conference for organizations wishing to showcase their products and services in the dams and water resource industry. Event and product sponsorships throughout the conference will offer additional marketing opportunities. These opportunities will be posted on the USSD website.
The Conference will be held in San Francisco, famous for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities and world-class cuisine. San Francisco’s landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Chinatown and Union Square. The Conference will be held in a premier hotel near San Francisco International Airport, with easy access to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
Four Concurrent Workshops, organized by USSD Technical Committees, will be held on Thursday, addressing timely topics of interest to the dams and water resources community.
Field tours to visit local state-of-the-art engineering water resource projects will be scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Friday. The Thursday afternoon tour will visit the historic Lower Crystal Springs Dam. The day-long Friday tour will go to the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, currently under construction, and the recently completed Los Vaqueros Dam Raise.
- Draft Papers Due: October 15, 2013
- Comments to Authors: December 15, 2013
- Final Paper to USSD: February 1, 2014
- Conference: April 7-11, 2014
Conference Planning Committee
- Daniel L. Wade, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Chairman, Planning Committee
- Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, University of Michigan
- John A. Bischoff, URS Corporation
- Paul E. Booth, ARCADIS
- Ross Boulanger, University of California, Davis
- Richard Britzman, Corps of Engineers
- Denise Bunte-Bisnett, Santee Cooper
- Robert P. Cannon, Schnabel Engineering, Inc.
- Kerry D. Cato, Cato Geoscience, Inc.
- Jose L. M. Clemente, Bechtel Power Corporation
- Kim de Rubertis, Consultant
- Dean B. Durkee, Gannett Fleming, Inc.
- Wayne D. Edwards, W.D. Edwards Consulting, LLC
- Rodney Eisenbraun, Kleinfelder, Inc.
- Joseph L. Ehaz, URS Corporation
- William Empson, Corps of Engineers
- Theodore B. Feldsher, URS Corporation
- Keith A. Ferguson, HDR Engineering, Inc.
- Gillian M. Gregory, GEI Consultants, Inc.
- B. Alex Grenoble, HDR Engineering, Inc.
- Tahereh Heidari, MWH
- Susan Hou, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
- Richard W. Humphries, Golder Associates Inc.
- Frank Immel, Global Diving and Salvage, Inc.
- C. Michael Knarr, Southern California Edison Company
- Laura Ann LaRiviere, Kleinfelder, Inc.
- James E. Lindell, MWH
- Richard A. Millet, URS Corporation
- Donald J. Montgomery, MWH Americas, Inc.
- Chris Mueller, Black and Veatch
- Matthew Redington, HDR Engineering, Inc.
- Michael F. Rogers, MWH
- Lawrence H. Roth, ARCADIS US, Inc.
- Emily Schwartz, HDR Engineering, Inc.
- Del A. Shannonn, ASI Constructors, Inc.
- Paul F. Shiers, Parsons Brinckerhoff
- Mike Shiflett, Freese and Nichols, Inc.
- Kenneth A. Steel, Consultant
- John Stoessel, Southern California Edison Company
- Manoshree Sundaram, MWH
- Amanda Sutter, Corps of Engineers
- Martin J. Teal, WEST Consultants, Inc.
- Jason Thom, DOWL HKM Engineering
- Eduardo Torrico, Black and Veatch
- Jerry W. Webb, Corps of Engineers
- Joe A. Welna, Barr Engineering Company
- Stephen L. Whiteside, CDM Smith
- John S. Wolfhope, Freese and Nichols, Inc.
- Noel Wong, URS Corporation
- Olga M. Zabawa, Parsons Brinckerhoff
- Luyin Zhu, Pacific Gas and Electric Company