Committee on Dam Safety and Dam Security


The mission of the USSD Committee on Dam Safety and Dam Security (CODSS) is to establish and accomplish programs which gather and disseminate information, and to coordinate activities with other organizations for the purpose of enhancing the safety and security of dams within the United States.

The CODSS promotes awareness of the importance of dam safety and security by sponsoring appropriate conferences, seminars, training and other forums whose objective is the enhancement of the safety and security of dams. In addition, the CODSS develops programs and tools which gather and disseminate dam safety and security information and coordinating training for USSD members.

The CODS maintains liaison with other professional organizations promoting dam safety, including the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), the Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS), the National Dam Safety Review Board (NDSRB), DHS CIPAC Dams Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), as well as various other USSD committees. CODSS and individual CODSS members participating as members of the Dams SCC and various Work Groups are examples of that cooperation.

CODSS has established two Subcommittees:

  • Subcommittee on Outreach - The Outreach subcommittee was formed during the April, 2011 USSD Conference meeting. The Subcommittee on Outreach will leverage activities of other USSD committees and efforts to promote CODSS memberships, activities and products. This topic will be further discussed in 2012 to determine what aspect of this goal can be developed in 2012.
  • Subcommittee on Risk Assessment - The Risk Assessment Subcommittee of CODSS is working closely with the USSD Board of Directors to develop and present a training workshop on Dam Safety Risk Assessment. A Workshop Agenda has been developed and Session trainers have been identified. The Workshop venue and dates are yet to be finalized. The summer to fall of 2012 is targeted as likely dates.

In addition, members of CODSS have been involved in several ongoing endeavors including the Joint Federal Risk Management Workgroup. Several CODSS members are participating on an Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS) sponsored joint effort to develop Federal Guidance on Dam Safety Risk Management. Representatives from the US Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corp. of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Federal Emergency Management Agency have developed a workgroup charter, glossary of terms and are presently working on a draft guidance document. It is anticipated, a draft Guidance document will be develop for broad dissemination and review in 2012.

The CODS encourages member's organizations to support the National Performance of Dams Program (NPDP). NPDP is a national effort to create an information resource on the performance of dams by retrieving, archiving, and disseminating information on dam performance.

The CODS also supports the International Commission on Large Dams Committee on Dam Safety.

Terms of Reference
(2000 - 2013)

Promote the improvement of the dam safety and security in the United States and the world by establishing and accomplishing programs which gather and disseminate information, and coordinate activities with other organizations. Assist ICODS in developing a publication on risk assessment and management in dam safety, and/or prepare a USSD publication on the subject.

  • Building upon the 1998 Annual Meeting, prepare a white paper on the current state of practice regarding the use of risk analysis and risk assessment in dam safety in the United States.
  • Attend meetings and workshops on the subject.
  • Participate in effort by ICOLD's Committee on Dam Safety.
  • Develop ICODS white paper on "tolerable risk", philosophy, uses, thoughts, etc.
  • Develop workshops and meetings as necessary.

Continue to support the National Performance of Dams Program by providing representation on the Executive Committee and encouraging submittal of dam incidents to the archive on dam incidents.

  • There has been a perceived de-emphasis by dam owners on dam safety and security caused by regulatory agency downsizing, reduction in research, budget cuts, and delays in completing necessary dam safety maintenance and security improvements CODSS will work with the ASDSO and National Performance of Dams Center at Stanford to expand the current ASCE dam safety report card project to develop clearer definitions of problems and potential remedial actions.
  • Assess and prepare a white paper on how organizations can utilize the National Performance of Dams Program to advance the safe performance of dams. The President of USSD would then provide a briefing to committee chairs and a brief presentation at the general meeting to inform and encourage members to participate in the program.
  • Support the National Dam Safety Program Act of 2006 (PL 104-303) by encouraging funding appropriation and providing representation on the National Review Board, Section 8(h) of the Act.
  • Provide security information to USSD members by developing a panel with members from DHS, SCC/GCC, FERC, ASDSO, and a large Private Sector Owner as well as a follow-up presentation for the 2013 ICOLD Meeting on US Dams Infrastructure Security and How We Approach It.
  • Maintain liaison with other professional organizations promoting dam safety and security: ASDSO, DHS CIPAC Dams Sector Coordinating Council, Interagency Committee on Dam Safety (ICODS), and various USSD Committees.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Committee Chairperson:


Brian Becker, Chairperson
Bureau of Reclamation
P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225
Telephone: 303-445-2776
Fax: 303-445-6463
e-mail: bbecker@usbr.gov

Committee Members
Daniel J. Mahoney, Vice Chairperson
Scott Airato
Donald E. Bowes
David S. Bowles
Douglas D. Boyer
William Brown
Jack C. Byers
Kathleen Clarkson
Brett Cochran
Justin Darling
Walter L. Davis
James L. Doane
Dean B. Durkee
R. Craig Findlay
William F. Foos
Brian Greene
Gregory G. Hammer
Al Hancock
Gregory J. Hanson
Christopher Hill
Douglas L. Johnson
Richard Lech Kulesza
Dwayne E. Lillard
David W. Lord
John C. Lylon, Jr.
Enrique E. Matheu
Martin W. McCann, Jr.
David Moore
Bruce C. Muller, Jr.
Justin Nettle
Patrick J. Regan
Barbara Schuelke
Constantine G. Tjoumas



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