Sample Essay on Condition of Dams in WNY vs. Rest of the United States and other countries

Western New York(WNY) dams are among the essential components of its infrastructure that enhances its wealth and water resource. The dams provide water for drinking, irrigation, fire protection, hydropower, and habitat for wildlife among others (“Report card for New Yolk’s infrastructure,” 2015).

The classification of dams in Western New York highly differs from the rest of the world. In WNY, dams are classified by considering the expected consequences of failure while the rest of the world classifies dams based on the condition of the dam. Hence,WNY has High Hazard Dams, Intermediate Hazard Dams, and Low Hazard Dams.

The dams in WNY are under regular inspection by their owners. The owners of High Hazard and Intermediate Hazard Dams have the responsibility of carrying out regular safety inspections as provided for the Inspection and Maintenance Plan for every dam. This means that the level of safety of WNY dams is very high as compared to other dams around the world (“era of big dams nears end –,” n.d.).

The dams in WNY experience constant condition ratings by NYSDEC DSS thereby updating the level of every dam in order to enhance the required regulations. The other dam’s in the rest of the world does not experience such ratings.

Dams in Western New York contain Emergency Action Plans as opposed to the rest of the dams all over the world. The owners of High Hazard and Intermediate Hazard Dams are expected to prepare an emergency action plan and present annual updates to NYSDEC. The other dams in the world do not contain such action plans (“Dam Safety – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation,” n.d.).


WNY Dams Other Dams
Classified according to consequences of failure Classified on the basis of the condition of the dam
Are under regular inspection by their owners to enhance safety Inspection is rarely carried out on these dams
Experience constant condition rating They are not rated
Contains updated emergency action plans Majority do not have an emergency action plan



Dam Safety – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. (n.d.). Web Oct 21 2015.

The era of big dams nears end – (n.d.). Web Oct 21 2015.

Report card for New Yolk’s infrastructure. (2015). Web Oct 21 2015.