Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety programs to consider community- and regional-level priorities in decision making can help reduce the risk of, and increase community resilience to, potential dam and levee failures.
Collaboration between dam and levee safety professionals at all levels, persons and property owners at direct risk, members of the wider economy, and the social and environmental networks in a community would allow all stakeholders to understand risks, shared needs, and opportunities, and make more informed decisions related to dam and levee infrastructure and community resilience. Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice explains that fundamental shifts in safety culture will be necessary to integrate the concepts of resilience into dam and levee safety programs.