A Description of Application of a New Quantitative Dam Safety Risk Screen Tool

Author(s) R. Donnelly, K. Jamieson, Chief Derek Stephen, S. Perkins, M. Orton
47th Annual H.G. Acres Seminar 2016, Climate Change & Waterpower-Myths, Science and Impacts, Niagara Falls, Ontario, April 14, 2016


The community of Kashechewan is a remote First Nations reserve situated in Canada’s far north. The Kashechewan Ring Dike protects over 2,000 residents of the community from flooding that occurs annually as a result of ice jams near the shores of Hudson’s Bay during spring break-up of the Lower Albany River. Since 1976, the Kashechewan First Nation Community has been evacuated on eight separate occasions with the most severe occurrence in the spring of 2006, an event that almost overtopped the dyke. This incident, and others, point to the fact that this dike does not meet the original design intent of providing long-term protection to the community.

In 2014, an assessment of the state of Dam Safety Management at the community and a quantitative assessment of the risks the Ring Dyke presented to the community was performed making use of a newly developed risk screening tool was performed. The results of this assessment were used to assist in making important decisions regarding the risks that the dyke presented to the community, the remedial actions that could be implemented to reduce risk and the advisability of evacuation of the entire town prior to the onset of the spring floods.