US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources, Risk Management Center Website

Fact Sheets

Headquarters
Risk Management Center

Risk Assessment

  • The Risk Management Center (RMC) is responsible for leading the development of risk-related tools and risk methodology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Dam and Levee Safety programs and supports risk approaches in other related areas as directed by USACE Headquarters (HQUSACE). The RMC develops these tools and methods internally and with District, Major Subordinate Command (MSC), Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), and external support. The RMC leads and supports the development of methodology to support risk assessments in dam safety, levee safety, asset management, and other risk activities as requested by HQUSACE. The RMC also leads risk assessments and is the mandatory center for assessing life safety risks in accordance with the Dam Safety Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1156.

Safety Program Management

  • The mission of the USACE Dam and Levee Safety Programs is to ensure dams and levee systems provide benefits to the nation by working with sponsors and stakeholders to assess, communicate, and manage flood risks to people, property, and the environment. This is accomplished with a core team of program managers and program & budget analysts, as well as a distributed team across USACE involved in all aspects and disciplines of dam and levee safety.

Periodic Assessments

  • The Periodic Assessment (PA) program forms the foundation of the USACE Dam Safety program and each high- or significant-hazard dam in the USACE inventory receives PA every 10 years. The RMC runs the PA program and trains and funds PA facilitators in accordance with Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1156. A PA consists of a site visit, typically associated with a periodic inspection, a potential failure modes analysis, and a semi-quantitative risk assessment based on existing data and limited development of estimated consequence data. The primary purposes of a PA include:
  1. Evaluate the project vulnerabilities and associated risks, including non-breach risks;
  2. Reevaluate the Dam Safety Action Classification of a project and recommend a change, if necessary;
  3. Review and if necessary revise the Interim Risk Reduction Measures Plan;
  4. Identify and prioritize any data collection, analysis, or study needs;
  5. Identify operations and maintenance, monitoring, emergency action plan, training, and other recurrent needs; and
  6. Provide a better understanding of vulnerabilities and a basis for future dam safety inspections and activities.

Training

  • USACE has a wide variety of training courses for dam and levee safety activities within the broader context of risk management. Dam and levee engineering are unique combinations of many disciplines and build upon the fundamentals of the Engineer-in-Training (E.I.T.) certification and the Professional Engineering (P.E.) license. The courses USACE provides are an invaluable supplement that includes an experiential component to dam and levee engineering as well as instruction on risk analysis, management, and guidelines. Some of these courses are taught by the Dam and Levee Safety programs of USACE and some of them are taught through the Proponent-Sponsored Engineer Corps Training (PROSPECT) Program. View RMC's available courses here.

Software

  • RMC-RFA: The RMC developed the Reservoir Frequency Analysis (RMC-RFA) software to facilitate hydrologic hazard assessments within the USACE Dam Safety Program. RMC-RFA produces a reservoir stage-frequency curve with uncertainty bounds by utilizing a deterministic flood routing model while treating the inflow volume, the inflow flood hydrograph shape, the seasonal occurrence of the flood event, and the antecedent reservoir stage as uncertain variables rather than fixed values. In order to quantify both the natural variability and knowledge uncertainty in reservoir stage-frequency estimates, RMC-RFA employs a two looped, nested Monte Carlo methodology. The natural variability of the reservoir stage is simulated in the inner loop defined as a realization, which comprises many thousands of simulated flood events. Knowledge uncertainty in the inflow volume frequency distribution is simulated in the outer loop, which comprises many realizations.
  • HEC-LifeSim: HEC-LifeSim is an agent based simulation system for estimating life loss with the fundamental intent to simulate population redistribution during an evacuation.
     
  • Learn more about RMC's software here.