Dams & Levees

This Technical Working Group has the responsibility of reviewing environmental, engineering geology, and geotechnical questions and issues related to dam siting, construction, and safety. The group makes recommendations to the Board for consideration with respect to position or policy statements on dam-related matters. The technical working group activities include:

  • Informing our membership of new and emerging technologies
  • Improving public awareness of dam safety issues and promoting our profession
  • Providing input to local, state, or federal regulations
  • Publishing papers and organizing AEG Dam Symposia and Short Courses

Chairs: Hawkins Gagnon and Cassie Wagner

View of foundation excavation for the 210-foot high Calaveras Replacement Dam, owned by the City and County of San Francisco, being constructed under application from the California Division of Safety of Dams. The original hydraulic fill dam is being replaced for seismic instability. The replacement dam will be a zoned embankment with central core, rockfill shells and internal drainage. The 650-foot high, 2:1 left abutment cutslope is at about spillway elevation as of January 2014 (note portions of the old spillway are still visible). In the coming months the excavation will expose the left abutment foundation rock. The tightly folded sedimentary rock exposed in the cutslope is Tertiary age Temblor Sandstone which forms the prominent strike ridge left of the cut. The right abutment is Franciscan mélange. Equipment tracks from the completed grout curtain/cutoff wall are visible on the right foundation surface, marking the center line of the replacement dam.  Photo by Brian Haux, SkyHawk Photography
Case Histories
AEG Dams Symposia Presentations
Links to Dam Safety Organizations
  • Association of Dam Safety Officials is a national non-profit organization of state and federal dam safety regulators, dam owners and operators, engineering consultants, manufacturers and suppliers, academia, contractors and others interested in dams safety. Links to state organizations and contacts are provided.
  • California Division of Safety of Dams is one of the largest state dam safety regulatory agencies.
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the federal agency charged with the safety of dams used in hydroelectric power facilities. Includes a link to the regulations, guidelines, and manuals published by FERC.
  • International Commission on Large Dams is an organization which promotes advances in the art and science of water resources through dams and to develop them in a technically safe, ecologically and socio-economically sustainable manner. 
  • United States Society on Dams is an organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the role of dams for the benefit of society.
Selected Web Resources
Selected Text References for Dams
  • Bruce, Donald A., 2012, Dams & Hydraulic Engineering, Specialty Construction Techniques for Dam and Levee Remediation, CRC Press, 447 p.
  • Best, E., 1984, Dams, Engineering Geology: in Finkl, C. W., (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Geology, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, (New York, New York), 644 p.
  • Burwell, E.B., and Moneymaker, B.C., 1950, Geology in Dam Construction: in Paige, S., (ed.), Applications of Geology to Engineering Practice, Berkey Volume, Geological Society of America, New York, 327 p.
  • Goodman, R.E., 1993, Engineering Geology-Rock in Engineering Construction: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., (New York, New York), 412 p.
  • Jansen, R.B., 1983, Dams and Public Safety: U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, Water Resources Technical Publication, (Denver, Colorado), 332 p.
  • Jansen, R.B., (ed.), 1988, Advanced Dam Engineering for Design, Construction, and Rehabilitation: Van Nostrand Reinhold, (New York, New York), 811 p.
  • Krynine, D.P., and Judd, W.R., 1957, Principles of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics: McGraw-Hill Book Company, (New York, New York), 730 p.
  • Legget, R.F., 1962, Geology and Engineering: McGraw-Hill Book Company, (New York, New York), 884 p.
  • United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Design of Small Dams, A Water Resources Technical Publication, Third Edition, 1987, U.S. Government Printing Office, (Washington, DC), 860 p.  
  • Weaver, K.D., and Bruce, D.A., 2007, Dam Foundation Grouting, ASCE Press, 506 p.

The Immediate Past President is the Coordinator of Technical Working Groups and shall provide coordination among the Groups; liaison between the Groups and the Board; and distributing Association information to various Technical Working Group Chairs.