The collapse of the Toten Dam






Toten Dam

The collapse of the Toten Dam is attributed to the professional competencies that were exhibited by the Bureau of Reclamation. It culminated in massive losses of lives as well as property. This prompted an investigation in the causes of the collapse that revealed various technical inadequacies in the process of construction. The investigation was conducted by two different groups whose findings found the bureau guilty of not taking adequate cautionary measures to prevent the collapse of the dam. The dam collapsed in 1975 was reportedly caused by leakages and erosion. The bureau had experienced similar problems in 1965 although timely measures had been undertaken to counter this. One of the issues that were raised by the investigators was a conceived lack of inspection of the dam. Based on the information provided, it can be ascertained that indeed, the bureau failed to monitor the process accordingly.

In this regard, it is worth acknowledging that various concerns had initially been raised by credible bodies such as the department of geology regarding the location of the dam. In addition, the bureau ascertained that the process of construction was indeed faced by various challenges related to the physical structures in that region. Considering the fact that it had not previously experienced such challenges, it would have been imperative for it to exercise caution. Besides taking extra measures to curb possible leaking, it could have monitored and inspected the condition of the dam more frequently. Possibly, this could have enabled it to identify possible problems related to the functioning of the same in a timely manner. It can also be posited that its response to leakage reports was slow, irrespective of the knowledge that the conditions surrounding the construction of the dam were uncertain.

From an ethical perspective, it can be argued that the bureau failed dismally to uphold relevant ethical measures in order to prevent the collapse of the dam. Its failure to take caution before constructing the dam implies that they had little concern for the wellbeing of the affected populations. In addition, it is certain that the Bureau based some of its assumption on previous successes, without acknowledging that Toten dam had unique physical characteristics. This can be considered unethical as the aftermath had adverse effects on the wellbeing of the affected individuals.

The Reclamation bureau can be considered to be guilty of poor performance in the construction of Toten dam. From the reports presented by the investigating teams, it is certain that utmost attention was not accorded to the conditions surrounding the construction of the same. There are inherent errors that have been cited to have contributed to the collapse of the dam. This indicates that the expertise of these individuals is largely at stake. Of course errors often occur but the presence of numerous errors that had the capacity to undermine the functioning of the dam showed a significant level of incompetence. Effective and frequent monitoring could possibly have avoided the collapse of this.

Seemingly, various measures could have been undertaken to prevent the collapse of the dam. To begin with, the bureau could have employed more measures to avoid leaking and to prevent erosion accordingly. Further, it could have conducted monitoring and evaluation of this project more frequently. Alternatively, it could have heeded the caution presented by the geological department and abandoned the project altogether.