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Central Water Commission

(Serving the nation since 1945)

Risk of Dam Failure

  • 200 notable failures of large dams in the world up to 1965. (As per an ICOLD publication – Lessons from Dam Incidents 1973)

  • Globally about 2.2% of dams build before 1950 have failed, while the failure rate of dams built since 1951 has been less than 0.5%.

  • India too has had its share of dam failures. However, the performance of Indian dams mirrors the International trends.

  • First failure recorded in Madhya Pradesh during 1917 when the Tigra Dam failed due to overtopping. The worst dam disaster was the failure of Machu dam (Gujarat) in 1979 in which about 2000 people have died.

  • 36 reported failures cases so far.