Brazilian Dam Safety Report 2023: A Comprehensive Overview

The 2023 Brazilian Dam Safety Report (RSB 2023) highlights critical insights into the state of dam safety across Brazil, reflecting ongoing efforts to enhance safety and mitigate risks associated with dam infrastructure. Coordinated by the National Water and Sanitation Agency (ANA), this report presents a detailed analysis of 229 priority dams requiring heightened attention for safety reasons, distributed across 22 states and the Federal District.

Key Findings and Insights

Priority Dams and Safety Measures

The RSB 2023 identifies 229 dams as priority cases due to their heightened risk profiles, necessitating immediate and comprehensive safety measures. These dams have been flagged based on criteria such as potential hazards, existing structural issues, and the extent of potential damage in the event of failure. The identified dams span various states, indicating a nationwide need for improved dam safety protocols and consistent regulatory oversight.

Legislative and Regulatory Framework

The report underscores the critical role of the National Dam Safety Policy (Política Nacional de Segurança de Barragens – PNSB), established under Law No. 12.334/2010. This law mandates regular safety inspections, thorough maintenance, and robust emergency preparedness plans. The PNSB framework aims to ensure the structural integrity of dams, protect downstream communities, and mitigate environmental impacts.

Inspection and Monitoring Efforts

ANA, in collaboration with other regulatory bodies, conducts rigorous inspections and monitoring of dams. The report emphasizes the importance of continuous data collection and updating through the Sistema Nacional de Informações sobre Segurança de Barragens (SNISB). This system facilitates the compilation of data related to dam conditions, incidents, and compliance with safety standards.

Statistical Overview

The RSB 2023 provides a statistical analysis of dam incidents and accidents over the past year. Notably, it reports a decrease in the number of high-risk incidents compared to previous years, indicating progress in implementing safety measures. However, the report also highlights areas needing improvement, such as the timely reporting of incidents and the effectiveness of emergency action plans.

Challenges and Recommendations

Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness

Despite advancements, the report identifies significant challenges in risk management and emergency preparedness. It calls for enhanced training programs for dam operators, improved public awareness campaigns, and the development of more comprehensive emergency response strategies. The report also recommends increased investment in modern monitoring technologies to provide real-time data and early warning systems.

Interagency Collaboration

The success of the PNSB heavily relies on effective collaboration between federal, state, and municipal agencies. The report advocates for stronger interagency cooperation and the sharing of best practices to ensure consistent safety standards nationwide. It also stresses the need for international partnerships to leverage global expertise in dam safety management.


The Brazilian Dam Safety Report 2023 serves as a critical tool for assessing and enhancing the safety of dams across Brazil. While notable progress has been made, ongoing efforts are necessary to address the identified challenges and implement the recommended improvements. Ensuring the safety of dams is paramount for protecting communities, preserving ecosystems, and supporting sustainable development.