Assessment and Mitagation of Waterside Attacks on Dams

Grants and Contracts Details


The United States Department ofHomeland Security (DHS) has established 18 sectors of infrastructure and resource areas that comprise a network ofcritical physical, cyber, and human assets. One ofthese sectors is the Dams Sector. The task ofthe Dams Sector is to oversee and direct the development ofsolutions to protect dams against terrorist attacks. To this end, the Dams Sector documents tIcapability gaps" where dams may in some way be particularly vulnerable to attack. In 2008, the Dams Sector issued DHS Capability Gap Statement #2008-002-IASD /CIRT, «Assessment and Mitigation ofWater-Side Attacks on Dams" to address one ofthe identified capability gaps. The synopsis of this statement is that practical concepts are needed to reduce the risk to dams from water-side attack scenarios, including 1) swimmers, divers or boaters that may detonate a waterborne improvised explosive device (WBIED) adjacent to the dam, 2) explosives-laden boats that may be deliberately crashed into a dam to induce damage (kinetic energy attack), and 3) any attack that may involve launching projectiles at the dam. In the event of a water-side attack, dams may be weakened to a point where they are ultimately breached, leading to a sudden uncontrolled pool release. The consequences ofsuch a release would be catastrophic, with results that may include hundreds of fatalities, widespread flooding, billions ofdollars ofdownstream damage, and severe consequences for the local economies that relied on the lost pool and downstream waterway. The objective of this project is to address the capability gap described above by identifying existing concepts and developing new concepts to reduce the risk from water-side attacks to dams and gated spillways. This project will focus on concrete dams and gated spillways, but may be expanded in scope to include earth dams. This project will be executed through close communication with the existing dam community, identification ofcritical dam types, documentation ofexisting technologies to protect dams, analysis ofthe physical, social, and economic impact ofdam attacks, and development oforiginal methods to protect dams. As a result ofthis project, methods to mitigate the effect ofdam attacks will be identified and prioritized. This project will also serve as the starting point for future projects where the more promising mitigating methods are developed, deployed, and tested under field conditions.
Effective start/end date3/10/106/30/14


  • National Institute for Hometown Security: $2,734,054.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.