India has 5334 large dams; the largest number of dams in the world after the USA and China. Constructing dams exposes downstream areas to the risk of catastrophic flooding. Adopting risk-based decision-making systems for making policy, implementation and management decisions regarding dams are crucial for mitigating this risk.
Dam Safety Organisation, Central Water Commission, Government of India reports a total of 23 major dam failures in the country between 1960 and 2010. Some of them led to a signicant number of deaths and damage to property. Dam safety is important for the following reasons:
- Safeguarding Water security and huge investments in infrastructure.
- Safeguarding human life, and properties of the people living downstream of the dams.