Canadian Consulting Engineer

ASCE publishes new manual for Monitoring Dam Performance

July 11, 2018

The new 440-page hard cover manual of practice delves into embankment, concrete, and other types of dams.

manualAmerican Society of Civil Engineers has released a new manual of practice, Monitoring Dam Performance: Instrumentation and Measurement, presenting the fundamentals and current state of practice of instrumented measurements for monitoring dam performance.

Dam performance monitoring is a balance of visual surveillance and instrumental measurements to accurately understand how well a dam is performing.

Mechanical, electromechanical, and electronic instruments are used to measure geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, or geohydrologic dam performance indicators that are not observable by visual surveillance.

Performance monitoring as part of a comprehensive dam safety program is a powerful tool for identifying and managing the risk of failure associated with a dam. Instrumented monitoring produces quantitative data regarding foundation, reservoir, tailwater, and precipitation conditions surrounding and within the dam.


Instrumented monitoring can provide long‐term records of data, allowing for detection of time or load‐dependent trends in a dam’s performance.

The new 440-page hard cover manual of practice delves into embankment, concrete, and other types of dams. It also examines their possible vulnerabilities, as well as exploring how their potential modes of failure lead to asking performance questions that instrumented measurements can help monitor.

The manual of practice covers:

  • recognizing vulnerabilities affecting dam performance;
  • identifying performance indicators;
  • understanding means and methods of measuring performance indicators;
  • planning and implementing a monitoring program;
  • acquiring, managing, evaluating, and presenting data; and
  • making decisions and taking action on the basis of monitoring results.

The new manual of practice is available at the ASCE Bookstore for US$180 (US$135 for ASCE members).



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