In Puerto Rico, runoff from an average of 70 inches of rain annually are distributed along the northern and southern coastal plains and stored in 36 reservoirs.
These reservoirs are mostly used for irrigation, hydroelectric and domestic purposes, and are concentrated in the south-central region. Most are located at distant and difficult to access sites in regions of varied terrain, which make them hard to monitor.
The majority of the dams were designed and built prior to the 1950’s when the population was about 2.2 million. Since then, the population has almost doubled, resulting in a boom in housing construction, in many cases just below most reservoirs.
As a result, along with several other factors such as new design parameters, topography, geology, regional seismicity and age of dams, these dams are now classified as high-hazard.
The Automated Dam Data Acquisition and Alarm Reporting System (ADDAARS) was conceived and designed to obtain, monitor and analyze, in real-time, critical safety parameters such as inflows, outflows, gate openings and lake elevations for 29 principal reservoirs.
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