A Value Engineering/Risk Analysis Approach to Operation and Maintenance of Hydraulic Structures

by David W. Eckhoff, Watson & Preator Engineering, Salt Lake City, United States,
Jeffrey R. Keaton, Watson & Preator Engineering, Salt Lake City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


Value engineering is an objective, systematic method for minimizing cost of a system. Risk analysis is a method of quantifying uncertainties or probabilities of possible economic loss, physical damage, or personal injury associated with a particular natural (geologic) setting or physical system condition. Together, the two methods provide a perspective for identifying and evaluating in comparable terms all hazards and processes and a mean for intelligent decision-making. A multi-disciplinary team of technical specialists is well suited to identify hazards and processes potentially affecting a facility or system. This team can develop reliable subjective estimates of the probability that a hazard will occur at a potentially damaging intensity or that a process will lead to system component failure requiring repair or replacement. The team must be well versed in hazard identification, likely system response, and appropriate repair and improvement techniques. Capital costs associated with repair and/or improvement techniques, combined with annualized probabilities of hazard occurence or system failure, can be use to estimate annual expected values of risk exposure. Present worth of expected values can be calculated with conventional economic approches using inflation and discount or interest rates over a design life. Systematic assessment of alternative responses to potential damage or injury permits selection of the most economical alternative which provide acceptable level of risk.

Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Accidents | Failure analysis | Hydraulic structures | System analysis | Uncertainty principles | Probability | Risk management

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