Report examines liability of flooding for operators of dams and reservoirs

Flooding covers streets and yards in neighborhood

Eight law students in the Natural Resources Systems Capstone Seminar at the Texas A&M University School of Law released a new report on potential liability for dam and reservoir operators during and after floods.

The report, titled “Flooding Events Post Hurricane Harvey: Potential Liability for Dam and Reservoir Operators and Recommendations Moving Forward,” was produced under the supervision of Gabriel Eckstein, professor and director of the Program in Natural Resources Systems, and Howard S. Slobodin, adjunct professor and general counsel of the Trinity River Authority of Texas.

It reviews current dam and reservoir operations in Texas and examines the potential liability that such operators may face for actions and decisions taken in response to storm and flooding events.

The report also offers recommendations for best practices for dam operators, including flooding notifications and building community relations, as a means to engage and educate the public and thereby reduce the potential for disputes and litigation.

Authors of the report are law students David Ayala, Ashley Graves, Colton Lauer, Henrik Strand, Chad Taylor, Kyle Weldon and Ryan Wood

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