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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research Note on Major Assumptions About the Probability of Failure (Pf) & Consequences of Failure (Cf) Related to Critical Infrastructures in California’s Sacramento Delta


A problem arises when the assumption that the higher the Pf and Cf, the greater the pressure will be to reduce one or both confronts a reality where Pf is high because Cf is high, and Cf is high because no one has been able to agree over what to do about the critical infrastructures in question. The impasse arises because of the zero-sum nature of the high-stakes conflict, which in turn leads to long-term inaction where thereby increases the probability of something awful happening when disaster finally strikes. Reliability of the critical infrastructure, accordingly, ceases to be the driving priority in decisionmaking. This note examines how to address such a problem within the interactive framework for the risk assessment and management (RAM) the instruments of a Quality Management Assessment System (QMAS) and a System Analysis Risk Assessment System (SYRAS).

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