Dams are critical infrastructure for storing water
Dams are critical infrastructure for storing water for a variety of uses like drinking, irrigation, power generation, industrial, domestic, and recreational uses. Managing the precious water assets requires systematic management and technological processes, materials, and skills. Dam safety is the discipline which addresses these issues and provides the necessary framework, using which, we can ensure a safe and competent portfolio of dams in the country. A.B. Pandya, President, and Sunil Sharma, Secretary General, Dam Safety Society, discuss the vital role of the Society in covering all the scientific, technological, and managerial aspects of dam safety.

Why is dam safety considered a critical discipline?

Dams are important as they are a reliable measure of water management. The importance of the reservoir storage created, and the resultant water supplies are important for the country’s economy and well-being of the beneficiary communities. Dams, therefore, have to retain their operations over generations. It is in this context that dam safety has emerged as a discipline in its own right.

Dam safety touches many aspects of technology, economy, and disaster management. There are multiple stakeholders involved in dam safety activities, namely, engineers, regulators, dam owners, service providers, and researchers. Many of the advanced countries have already put in place legislative and technological interventions for ensuring dam safety. Still, a large swathe of the developing world is yet to establish such systems. It is necessary that a platform comes up that can bridge the gaps in knowledge and capabilities.

Dam Safety Society’s aim is to focus on the unique safety

How will Dam Safety Society help in addressing the issues related to dam safety?

The Dam Safety Society’s aim is to focus on the unique safety aspects of dams and generate a common knowledge base for the benefit of the policy makers, dam safety organizations, dam owners, and dam professionals. The Society will cover all the scientific, technological and managerial aspects of dam safety.

As a professional body, it will provide a forum where the issues and challenges posed by existing dams can be examined and deliberated upon, based on which it will seek advanced solutions to ensure their safety. Dam safety assurance will have to become a collaborative effort of the regulators and all the stakeholders involved, if we have to implement dam safety paradigms. It is in this context that a group of eminent experts and individuals have come forward to set up the Dam Safety Society.

The Society also aims to build awareness of the challenges, values, and benefits of dams and levees to the public for water security, climate change and energy transition, and the importance of safe dam operations. It aims to advance, expand and disseminate the latest technological solutions and innovations for dam safety, operation and maintenance, promote and improve guidelines and technical standards, quality of works and performance, rehabilitation and refurbishment for dam safety engineers and other professionals who work in the field of dam safety and related fields.

The Society also facilitates education, training, and capacity building curricula for dams. Our aim is to lower the risk of dam failures through education and services, identify advancements in dams and levees safety management, develop and deliver industry-relevant education, evaluate, and if warranted, create accrediting/certifying opportunities for professionals and/or programs.

How can the Society build a more widespread and unified dam safety community?

The Society will work towards providing a forum for development of a common strategic vision on dam safety management on a sustainable basis, and promote the implementation of effective policies and strategies. It will study and disseminate dam safety practices adopted worldwide and promote dam safety discipline across the world through collaborative efforts with professional bodies and individuals.

It will generate a common pool of resources, experts and agencies, from across the world which are aligned with the Society’s missions and values. It will generate a data base of dam safety solutions and rehabilitation measures implemented for dams in all countries for the benefit of all.

It will strengthen and promote connection with ICOLD National Committees and other international professional organizations; identify and provide leadership opportunities to advance the Society’s mission and ensure that it remains viable. It will create opportunities and mechanisms for higher education institutions and researchers to share advances in the field; create networking and mentoring opportunities for professionals to access information for collaboration and encourage free flow of information; it will facilitate effective sharing of advances in dam safety engineering through research, education, action, and services.

Dam Safety Society’s aim is to focus on the unique safety

How will the Society facilitate knowledge development and sharing?

The Society will pool the knowledge worldwide and publish technical literature, to contribute information on different aspects of dam safety management. It will organize seminars, conferences, workshops, and training courses at national and international levels and other education related activities, to foster career paths to grow the talent pool for the dam industry and will motivate research students and young engineers to join the field of sustainable dam safety management.

We take this opportunity, to invite organizations, institutions, and individuals to become members of the Society to share the concerns and capabilities in ensuring dam safety and integrity, and ensure that all the appurtenant structures and distribution networks are also safe and provide sustainable benefits to society.

What is the structure of the Dam Safety Society and who are its key office bearers?

The Society has a Governing Council, General Assembly, an International Advisory Panel, and a pool of dam safety experts from across the world. The Governing Council consists of all office bearers (president, vice presidents, secretary general & treasurer), a few individual members, and one representative each from member organizations.

The General Assembly consists of all members of the society. As the supreme body for election of Governing Council office bearers, its role is to lay down policies, and approve the annual plan of activities, and finalize the rules and regulations of the Society.

Currently, the key office bearers are Devendra K. Sharma, Vice President, DSS & Hon. Vice President, ICOLD; Dr R K Gupta, Vice President, DSS & Former Chairman, CWC; Vivek Kapadia, Vice President, DSS & Former Secretary to Govt. of Gujarat and Director (Civil), SSNNL; Sunil Sharma Secretary General, DSS & Former Chief Manager, CBIP; and Tarun Agarwal Treasurer, DSS & Superintending Engr., Haryana Irrigation Deptt.

Dam Safety Society’s aim is to focus on the unique safety

What is the purpose of organising the International Conference DAM SAFETY 2024, and can you outline the themes and topics of the conference sessions?

Dam Safety Society in association with Narmada Water Resources and Water Supply and Kalpsar Department, Government of Gujarat and Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited is organizing International Conference: Dam Safety - 2024 during 25-26 July, 2024 at Kevadia, Gujarat. Before the conference a two-days workshop on Instrumentation of Dams including Seismic Instrumentation will be organized during 23 – 24 July, 2024 at the same venue.

India ranks third globally with about 6000 large dams. The conference brings together dam professionals and experts in the various inter-related disciplines from within India and around the world to discuss, reflect and share knowledge, technology and experience in addressing dam safety issues. The Dam Safety 2024 Conference will provide an opportunity in terms of participation by Indian and overseas professionals and organizations.

The conference will have Plenary Session, Technical Sessions, and Sessions dedicated to Industry. There will be valuable presentations during the Plenary Session by eminent dam safety professionals. Several oral presentations are planned during the Technical Sessions which will cover various facets of dam safety. National and overseas organizations will showcase contemporary developments in technologies, construction materials, products, instrumentation, and services in an exhibition to be organized at the Conference venue. Several international experts and organizations of repute have agreed to participate in this Conference. Some of the prominent themes are as given below:

THEME A : Global Best Practices in Dam Safety Management and Governance

Legislation and regulatory frameworks; Technical rules, guidelines and best practices; Human resources and capacity building; Risk Informed Decision Making; Integration of policies, people and processes; Dam safety management systems

THEME B : Dam Safety Assurance Under Climate Change

Climate change impacts on dam safety; Flood risk management; New methods in selecting design floods; GLOF Management; Optimization of reservoir operation and integrated reservoir management

THEME C : Dam Health Monitoring and Health Assessment

Dam Health Monitoring, Data Acquisition and Processing; Dam Instrumentation; Real-time performance monitoring; Investigations; Latest Technologies; Geophysical methods for health assessment; Under water monitoring

THEME D : Risk Management Approach to Dam Safety Management

Risk Assessment and Management; Risk Tolerability Criteria; Risk Control Measures; Structural, Hydraulic, Hydrologic & Hydro-mechanical Safety Reviews of existing dams

THEME E : Rehabilitation of Dams

Structural, Hydraulic, Geo-technical & other health issues and rehabilitation measures; Refurbishment of Gates; Rehabilitation Case Studies; Contractual Challenges; Reservoir De-sedimentation

THEME F : Operation, Maintenance and Emergency Management

Operation & Maintenance Requirements; Emergency Action Plans & Disaster Management; Early Warning Systems; Decision Support Systems; People’s Participation

THEME G : Lessons Learnt From Dam Failure Incidents

Causes of Dam Failures; Case Histories of Dam Failure Incidents; Lessons Learnt

The Conference will provide a forum for exchange of knowledge and experience in dam and dam safety engineering. The program will include presentations by leading professionals, and an exhibition on the latest products and processes, followed by a technical visit to the Sardar Sarovar Dam - one of the largest water resources projects of India covering four major states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

What workshops are included in DAM SAFETY 2024?

Instrumentation in dams has now become more important, keeping in view the need for the overall safety of the structure and its proper maintenance and up-keep. However, it has been experienced that in most of the cases the concerned officers and staff do not have proper exposure to the field of instrumentation, maintenance of instruments and maintenance of relevant records/data etc. It is therefore, important to disseminate knowledge about these concepts to as many engineers and dam authorities as possible. It is with the idea, to acquaint the in-service engineers/officers/staff with the updated knowledge, Dam Safety Society propose to organize of workshop on the subject, "Instrumentation of Dams including Seismic Instrumentation".

This workshop aims at including presentations, exercises, and instrumentation equipment displays/demonstrations which all are intended to provide workshop participants with improved insight, understanding, and comfort with respect to instrumentation. The workshop also aims to cover a variety of topics related to dam instrumentation monitoring. Attendees will learn the fundamentals and advances as well, what questions need to be answered by an instrumentation system, considerations to remember when evaluating the data, how does automation improve monitoring program, and be exposed to emerging technologies.

Workshop exercises will allow discussions of real-world scenarios. The scenarios will involve both embankment and concrete dams, planning of instrumentation system as well as data evaluation. A significant portion of the instrumentation workshop will be devoted to hands-on exercises design to walk participants through the entire scope of instrumentation from planning to design to evaluating data. Instrumentation equipment suppliers will have displays that will be used to enhance the "foundational" presentations, and the workshop will offer time for one-on-one discussions with equipment suppliers regarding general or special questions, issues, challenges, etc.

Fundamentally, the workshop will seek to maximize the opportunities for educational discussions among the participants, presenters, and instrumentation equipment suppliers about real-world situations, and how they might best be addressed.

The workshop will provide a general overview for the understanding of the factors that influence the accuracy and reliability of dam instrumentation data. Novice to seasoned professionals will all benefit from the workshop.

Engineers, dam owners, geologists, technicians, and government agencies should all attend.

The following broad topics will be deliberated during the workshop
  • Traditional Dam Safety Instrumentation
  • Monitoring and assessing structural behavior through instrumentation data
  • Emerging and Future Dam Safety Instrumentation and Tools
  • Owner's Perspectives and Presentations on Data
  • Seismic instrumentation and monitoring of dams
  • Assessing Seismic performance of dams through recorded event data from the dam
  • Instrumentation of existing dams & Equipping existing dams with instrumentation
  • Best practices of automated data acquisition, processing data evaluation, management and visualization
  • Case Studies on Dam Safety Instrumentation
  • Use of office automation tools for managing the recorded instrumentation data
On behalf of Dam Safety Society, we take great pleasure in inviting professionals and agencies associated with dam safety and related disciplines to the International Dam Safety Conference 2024.

For more details about society and conference, please contact:
Sunil Sharma - Secretary General, Dam Safety Society
Mobile : 9811299136
Phone : 91-11-26116837, 26115679
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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