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Safety first for zero failures
09 February, 2023
Mining continues to play an important role in many communities around the globe, but any failure has the potential to cause catastrophic and long-lasting impacts to water quality, aquatic life and human health. To start on the path to zero failures, tailings facility inventories need to be reduced with the adoption of best available practices and technologies. Suzanne Pritchard reports on recent developments in the Canadian province of British Columbia where there is growing pressure to address the risks posed by tailings dams in the face of climate change.
Discontinuance or adaptation?
10 May, 2021
A recent webinar hosted by the British Dam Society discusses managing reservoir assets and options for either remedial works or discontinuance.
An unprecedented year
07 January, 2021
We probably all agree that 2020 was an extraordinary year but how has the hydropower and dam industry fared throughout this global pandemic? Suzanne Pritchard reports.
Beautiful but deadly – public safety at reservoirs
07 April, 2020
The challenge of managing public safety at UK reservoirs was addressed recently at a meeting held by the British Dam Society in London. Suzanne Pritchard reports.
02 September, 2019
Following a successful trial, the British Dam Society (BDS) is about to launch its highly anticipated mentoring scheme. This scheme is aimed to encourage aspiring dam engineers working within the UK dam industry to develop their skills and knowledge to the required level for application to either the Supervising Engineers Panel or the All Reservoirs Panel, responsible for statutory inspections and other functions under UK reservoir legislation.
Tailings dam failures – can we minimise the risks?
21 May, 2019
Following the recent catastrophic failure of the Córrego do Feijão tailings dam in Brazil, Craig Goff from HR Wallingford considers the risks associated with these types of dam
Plain sailing – or choppy waters ahead?
27 February, 2019
There is concern in the UK dam industry that a gradual decline in the number of inspecting engineers will continue to fall to a level that may not be sustainable. Research by Anthea Peters, Craig Goff, David Littlemore and Tracey Williamson provides the most accurate and comprehensive analysis of the current, and possible future, state of inspection panels.
A workplace for women
17 May, 2018
Tracey Williamson is the first female Chair of the British Dam Society; she is quite certain she will not be the last. However, to ensure that encouraging women into civil engineering is kept on the agenda, Williamson says that we need to keep talking about it, provide positive role models and demonstrate that this is a workplace for women.
The modern dam engineer
15 February, 2018
Like many industries, the dam industry is influenced by both internal and external factors which can prompt change. IWP&DC was interested in finding out if such elements have affected the engineer’s working life when inspecting dams. We asked members of the industry for their own thoughts about the role of the modern dam engineer: Has this changed in recent years? Are engineers faced with increased challenges? And will this role continue to evolve?
Oxford study on large dams: the right to reply
25 June, 2014
Members of the dam industry have expressed their concern about a recent study from the University of Oxford on large dams. They claim it is unrepresentative; questioning the methodology used and the subjective conclusions it makes. Here they have their say.
RCC Dams: Simplicity is the key to success
23 April, 2014
The British Dam Society’s recent meeting on RCC dams emphasised the quality, speed and economic construction which can be achieved with these structures.
Earthquake warning system
13 February, 2012
Canadian company Weir-Jones Engineering Consultants has developed a new technology that provides more advanced warning in the event of earthquakes and aftershocks. Company president Ian Weir-Jones gives more details.
Focus on refurbishment
08 July, 2010
Over the past few years there have been some impressive refurbishment projects undertaken in the hydro power and dams industry. Here, IWP&DC presents details on 10 of the most interesting and innovative projects underway or recently completed in North America
Baffling the Burn of Mosset
03 March, 2010
A baffled crump weir flow control structure was used for the first time at a UK dam at the Burn of Mosset flood alleviation scheme. The Scottish project has been operating successfully under flood conditions and is enhancing the ecological status of the watercourse
An invisible industry?
09 November, 2009
Engineering has become ‘an invisible industry’ which is undervalued and undermined by outdated stereotypes, according to new research from the UK’s National Grid. Carrieann Stocks takes an in-depth look at the report andinvestigates some recent initiatives to attract young people to a career in the hydro power and dams industry
Dangers at embankment dam boundaries and embedments
03 October, 2008
Embankment dams may be damaged at structural and foundation interfaces and where fill is penetrated by conduits, instrumentation, or other potentially disruptive features. Robert B. Jansen explains how problems have been caused by displacement and deterioration of hidden and incompatible elements
In safe hands
18 June, 2008
The Canadian Dam Association (CDA) has been a unifying influence and promoter of good practice across the country. Here Executive Director Barry Hurndall talks about key concerns and challenges facing the industry
Where do we get our dam engineers?
29 February, 2008
Dams help ease the plight of millions without adequate water, sanitation or power, but there is a worrying skills shortage. Prof Andy Hughes, director of dams and reservoirs with Atkins, examines the challenge of finding the next generation of engineers