The British Dam Society
Caring for dams, people and the environment

Issues Archive

Below is an archive list of British Dam Society News.

July 2017: Notice of Election of a New Member to the ICE Reservoirs Committeeclick to view

Applications are requested for a forthcoming vacancy on the Reservoirs Committee.  From the October 2017 meeting the Committee wishes to appoint to the Committee a Supervising Engineer who is to be a representative of reservoir owners.  The appointee will serve a term years of three years, or shorter if determined by the Committee.

Applications from Supervising Engineers are to be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Committee (Moira Doherty, Committee Services Executive, Institution of Civil Engineers - e-mail moira.doherty@ice.org.ukby 31 July 2017.  Applicants must include a brief statement (200 words) on their suitability for appointment.  All applicants must have their employer's approval to serve on the Committee if appointed.

ICE wishes to see diversity in the membership of its committees, so applications from groups that are currently under-represented on the Committee (women and ethnic minorities) would be particularly welcome.

The Committee meets three times per year, with an additional requirement of three interviewing days, plus time spent assessing applications for appointment to Engineer panels.  Travel expenses are reimbursed by the ICE.

Where there are more applications than vacancies, appointee(s) will be selected by the Reservoirs Committee.  Details of the selection process may be obtained from the secretary.

 

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June 2017: Message from the BDS Chairclick to view

Dear Members of the British Dam Society,

Welcome to the June BDS Membership eNewsletter.

In this eNewsletter, we invite you to consider being nominated as a member of one of the ICOLD Technical Committees. With this year's meeting being held in Prague, with cheap flights and accommodation, it's a great opportunity. You can even attend the Committee meetings without paying for the Symposium and other Workshops, if the Conference fee is preventing you from volunteering.  The vacancies with their terms are included below. If you are interested in any of these, please get in touch with our Technical Secretary, Andrew Pepper at:  atpec@peppernet.org

Additionally, note that an extension has been given for abstracts to be submitted to the BDS Committee for ICOLD 2018 in Vienna.

In April another successful and informative Supervising Engineers' Forum was held at the National Conference Centre in Solihull.  I would like to thank Duncan Scott and all his assistants for their hard work on getting this organised; and thanks to the record number of attendees for their participation in the lively discussions.

Our five 'Strategic Objective Working Groups' have been working hard recently, preparing their Action Plans for achieving the objectives in our recently published Strategy (link here), with the aim to achieve our vision to be "a growing, inclusive and vibrant society; sharing knowledge and improving reservoir safety". We will share these with you in our next eNewsletter.

Please let us know if there is anything dams and reservoir related that you would like to share with the membership in the next eNewsletter.  As an example, there are a number of events concerning Integrated Catchment Delivery (link here) that may well be of interest to BDS members who are involved in the wider aspects of river engineering.

Tracey Williamson

Tracey.williamson@arup.com 

 

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May 2017: Advertisement for UK Representative vacancies on ICOLD Technical Committeesclick to view

There are currently three vacancies for UK representatives. The titles and terms of these are shown below.

With this year's meeting being held in Prague, with cheap flights and accommodation, it's a great opportunity. You can even attend the Committee meetings without paying for the Symposium and other Workshops, if the Conference fee is preventing you from volunteering.

The Committee meetings are being held on Tuesday 4th July: http://www.icold2017.cz/en/program

The vacancies with their terms are included below. If you are interested in any of these, please get in touch with our Technical Secretary, Andrew Pepper at:  atpec@peppernet.org

Technical Committee C - HYDRAULICS FOR DAMS (2016-19)

  1. Everything which concerns of new types of spillways: capacity, shape (for instance PK weirs).
  2. New types of energy dissipators, such as the slit flip bucket, flaring pier gate, jet flows collision combined with plunge pool in arch dam, orifice spillway tunnel, vortex shaft spillway tunnel.
  3. Aeration and cavitation mitigation measures, mainly concentrated on the large spillway tunnels and chute spillways.
  4. Flow induced vibration researches considering the large and high head radial gates and emergency gates by physical and numerical models and field observations.
  5. Hydraulic field observations for the safety, verification of the project.

Technical Committee K - INTEGRATED OPERATION OF HYDROPOWER STATIONS AND RESERVOIRS (2015-19)

  1. The optimal operation of reservoirs and hydropower stations. Collect information of currently used operation modes of reservoirs and hydropower stations. Exchange and share successful experiences and advanced technologies. Organise experts from related field worldwide to exchange experience and study problems on a regular basis, thus propose recommendations.
  2. On-line and diagnosis operation hydropower units. Collect and review the guidance, policies and technical information currently used in monitoring and testing hydropower units.
  3. Analyse the factors that influence large-scale hydropower units, such as management, operation mode, system features of monitoring and testing, etc. Considering the experience in different countries, recommend design guidelines of monitoring and testing large-scale hydropower units system.
  4. Hydropower in power market. Collect information on the hydropower participation rules in power market in different countries. Considering the characteristics of hydropower, study the major problems of hydropower in the competition of power market. Based on the past experience from different countries, propose feasible measures to ensure the effective participation.

From 2011-2015 the Committee gathers information of different cascade hydropower plants in member countries, shares operation methods of typical cascade hydropower plants and exchanges opinions on forming its outcome to share with all ICOLD members.

During the present term of the Committee the following works and activities were carried out:

  1. Organise yearly assembly along with annual meeting of ICOLD.
  2. Organised a symposium on cascade hydropower stations development and management under changing climates in Beijing in November, 2012. Members who attended the symposium exchanged latest situation of their countries in cascade hydropower stations development and management under changing climate.
  3. Preparation on a bulletin about cascade hydropower stations operation and management. Some of the previous terms of reference have not resulted in bulletins, but the issues have been discussed and by the above activities a large number of dam engineers and academicians could be informed. This has been an ongoing process of the Committee since 2011.

ICOLD's Integrated Operation of Hydropower Stations and Reservoirs Committee was established in 2011 and operation optimisation of cascade hydropower stations is becoming more important and significant.

Technical Committee Y - CLIMATE CHANGE (2014-17)

  • Collect and review the guidance and policies currently used in planning for the impacts of global climate change on dams, reservoir, and the associated water resources.
  • Assess the role of dams and reservoirs in adapting to the effects of global climate change, and determine the threat posed by global climate change to existing dams and reservoirs.
  • Recommend measures designed to mitigate against or adapt to the effects of global change on water storage facilities. Such recommendations would be developed in light of: scientific predictions of future climate changes; possible impacts from factors such as: increased or decreased precipitation, a change in the rate of evapotranspiration, water quality, erosion, and siltation, prolonged drought, flooding.
  • Publish an ICOLD position paper and guidelines for 'climate change and dams, reservoirs and the associated water resources'. These documents would be used by the ICOLD membership, governments, the United Nations, the World Bank and other organisations in need of guidance with respect to water resource protection and development.

 

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May 2017: Message from the Incoming BDS Chairmanclick to view

Dear Members of the British Dam Society

I would like to start by recognising the contribution over the last two years of Andy Hughes, the outgoing BDS Chairman. I'd like to welcome our new Vice Chairman, Alan Warren, along with our new Committee Member, Catherine O'Sullivan. I look forward to working with the Committee over the next two years and would like to thank them for making this commitment to the BDS and the profession.

The Committee will be working towards achieving the five objectives in our recently published Strategy (link here), with the aim to achieve our vision to be "a growing, inclusive and vibrant society; sharing knowledge and improving reservoir safety". We will provide an update on the planned work of the 'Strategic Objective Working Groups' in our next eNewsletter.

This month's eNewsletter includes updates on the recently published Defra Reservoir Safety Research Strategy and some draft Reports from ICOLD that are now ready for member comment and feedback.  We would urge you to contribute to these.

There is some information about the next two ICOLD events and how to get involved with these. If you are interested in being nominated as a member of one of the ICOLD Technical Committees, please get in touch with our Technical Secretary, Andrew Pepper at: atpec@peppernet.org

Finally, we are looking forward to this year's Supervising Engineers' Forum being held this month in the National Conference Centre in Solihull. Preparations are under way for an informative and successful forum, and I would like to thank Duncan Scott for his hard work on getting this organised.

Tracey Williamson

 

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May 2017: Society of Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics (SECED) Upcoming Technical Lecturesclick to view

Over the next two months the SECED will be holding two very prestigious technical lectures, that are free to attend and which may be of interest to the BDS Membership. Details can be found below.

  • 24th May 2017, 6pm, Telford Lecture theatre, ICE.

"The 16th Mallet-Milne Lecture - Dealing with Earthquakes" by Edmund Booth.

The biennial Mallet-Mlne lecture is organised by SECED in memory of the two founding fathers of Engineering Seismology: Robert Mallet and John Milne.

The concept of the Mallet-Milne lecture series is to capture a lifetime of experience from eminent professionals who have spent their careers working in the field of seismology or earthquake engineering. In recognition of his great contribution to British earthquake engineering, Edmund Booth has been elected, and has accepted, to deliver the 16th Mallet-Milne Lecture at the ICE. More details here: http://www.seced.org.uk/index.php/mallet-milne-lecture

 

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May 2017: Review of Three Draft Reports for ICOLD Technical Committeesclick to view

As a National Committee of ICOLD, BDS has been invited to comment on three draft reports that have been prepared by ICOLD Technical Committees. These are listed below along with the date by which each committee would like to receive comments:

  • Technical Advancements In Spillway Design - Progress and Innovations from 1985 to 2015 (203pp) - comments by 16 May 2017,
  • Integrated Operation of Hydropower Stations and Reservoirs (93pp) - comments by 23 May 2017,
  • Action Plan On Capacity Building (32pp) - comments by 31 May 2017.

We would encourage BDS members to contribute to the BDS responses.  If you can help please contact Andrew Pepper, the BDS Technical Secretary, on atpec@peppernet.org for a copy of the relevant draft report and details of how to provide your comments.

 

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April 2017: University of Bristol Student Requires Our Helpclick to view

Thom Noble is completing his 3rd year research project, at University of Bristol, to build a model to optimise dam design.  The model will cover a variety of designs and include multiple factors.

To assist with the development of the model Thom would like our assistance by completing the short (circa 10mins) questionnaire available at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdgxoUVoTg3b5THwtNffRZAfTSwf2wKNZw5L4zeZBo05KBjFA/viewform?usp=sf_link

The closing date for the questionnaire is Monday 24th April 2017.

 

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March 2017: Calling All BDS Members Have Your Say About The 2018 BDS Conferenceclick to view

The organising committee for the next British Dam Society conference in Swansea 2018 are considering changes to the conference format in order to increase technical content and provide an element of choice during the afternoon sessions.

The committee would be extremely grateful if you would answer 6 questions regarding the next conference which will assist the planning process.

A link to the questionnaire is shown below:- 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GRLD2Q8

Please could all BDS members take 2 minutes to answer the questions and submit their responses by Friday 24th March.

Many thanks

Swansea 2018 BDS Conference Organising Committee

 

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March 2017: ICOLD Annual Meetings 2017 and 2018click to view

ICOLD is holding it's 85th Annual meeting from 3rd to 7th July 2017 in Prague.

Due to the close proximity and relative ease of travel why not consider attending this prestigious event, the Past BDS Chairman has written an article (available here) extolling the virtues of attending the ICOLD Annual meetings.

Date for your Diaries,

ICOLD is holding it's 26th Congress and 86th Annual meeting from 29th June 2018 to 7th July 2018 in Vienna.

Due to the close proximity and relative ease of travel why not consider attending this prestigious event or even writing and submitting a paper, the Past BDS Chairman has written an article (available here) with further details.

 

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March 2017: Next BDS Evening Meeting and AGM (ICE London) - 20th March 2017click to view

The British Dam Society's AGM and evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 20th March 2017 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The AGM will be held before the evening meeting and BDS members are encouraged to attend.  All the AGM papers are available below and BDS Members are urged to read them prior to the meeting.

The evening meeting will be a presentation on the following topic: Genale Dawa 3 Hydroelectric Project which will be presented by Allan Marshall and Jonathan Troke (MWH).

The presentation will provide an overview of Ethiopia's current push to grow its economy and improve the populations living standards be developing its large potential for hydropower. The Genale Dawa 3 scheme will be described, in particular the design and construction challenges faced. 

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meeting and events page here.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

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March 2017: Supervising Engineers Forum - Book Now to Reserve Your Place click to view

The BDS 13th Supervising Engineers' Forum will be held at the National Conference Centre (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum) in Solihull, near Birmingham, West Midlands, B92 0EJ on Thursday 27th April 2017.

The Forum will comprise four sessions including an Open Forum discussion.

The presentation topics are as follows, with a particular emphasis on the direct impact on or experiences of Supervising Engineers:

  • Experience of New Legislation in Practice
  • Incidents and Exercising of On-site Plans
  • Assessment, Maintenance and Repairs
  • The Application Process

The presentation sessions will be followed by an Open Forum discussion. Queries or issues for discussion at the Open Forum may be submitted in advance to Duncan Scott by email (duncan.scott@sse.com) or raised on the day.

The Forum should be of particular interest to all those involved in reservoir safety, particularly Supervising Engineers and prospective Supervising Engineers.

Deadline for registration is Friday 10th March 2017.  

Delegate type

(for both BDS members and non-members)

Rate per delegate

  Standard Rate

£85

  Under 35 years of age

£50

  Student

Free

 

Registration and payment of fees by credit / debit card only can now be done online https://www.ice.org.uk/events/bds-supervising-engineers-forum-solihull

The online system does not issue invoices for payment - if you need to pay through this system please contact Tim Fuller, BDS Secretary, on the below details. If required, please provide a Purchase Order number in the initial contact to help speed up the booking / payment process.

Tim Fuller,

BDS Secretary,

c/o Institution of Civil Engineers,

1 Great George Street,

London, SW1P 3AA

Tel: 020 7665 2234

Email: bds@ice.org.uk

 

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March 2017: Professor Paul Adrian Auchmuty Back CBE FREng FICE 1930 - 2017click to view

It is with regret that we hear of the death of Professor Paul Back. 

He was born and educated in South Africa. He obtained a BSc at Cape Town University in 1951 and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University (Trinity College) and obtained a DPhil (Engineering Science) in 1954.

Having graduated from Trinity College, Oxford (where he later became a Visiting Fellow) he joined Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, a major consulting civil engineering firm, in 1955, becoming an associate in 1967 and partner in 1970.  He became chief technical director in 1989 when the firm merged with the American company Law (later acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group).

Initially he worked on the design of the Kariba Dam and subsequently joined the Gibb site staff in what was then Southern Rhodesia. Following his return to the UK he was involved with the design of the Latiyan Dam (Iran), major dams on the Orange River in South Africa, the Indus Basin Project, Victoria and Samonellaweewa dams in Sri Lanka, the Drakensberg Pumped Storage Project (South Africa), Katse Dam (Lesotho) and a number of other important hydroelectric dam projects including the Tongariro Hydroelectric Scheme in New Zealand and Lar Dam in Iran.

From 1992 to 1998 he was the Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the Principles of Civil Engineering Design at the University of Oxford, a role previously held by ICE Past President Edmund Hambly. University staff recall that he was "a real gentleman, very civilised and thoughtful". During his time there, in 1993, he was asked to assess the Peruca Dam in Croatia which had been sabotaged by the Serbs in the Balkan war and which, if breached, would result in the deaths of 20,000 people in a city downstream. He decided that the dam, although damaged, would probably not fail and so the town did not need to be evacuated. In the event the dam held.

He joined the ICE in 1956 as a Graduate member, becoming a Member in 1962 and achieving Fellowship in 1971. He was elected as a Council member from 1989 to 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1981. He was awarded a CBE in 1994 for services to Dam Engineering in Developing Countries.

He made a major contribution to all of the projects with which he was involved not least because of his inventiveness and ability to find new technical solutions when the need arose.

He was an inspiration to the numerous young engineers who he helped in many ways.

 

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February 2017: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 20th February 2017click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 20th February 2017 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be a presentation on an Update of the EA Reservoir Research Projects, by Alan Warren and Tom Rosenberg (Mott MacDonald Ltd) and Andy Courtnadge (Jacobs).

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meeting and events page here.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

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February 2017: ICE Lunch and Learn: Dams Do Fail - Hopefully Not In My Back Garden.click to view

Free lunch time Webinar on Friday 10th February 2017 from 13:00 to 14:00.

The talk will be given by Dr Andy Hughes (Atkins) and cover the development of legislation in the UK and a number of the failures that have occurred.

The talk will bring the listener right up to date with the changes in legislation that resulted from Sir Michael Pitt's review but will also highlight that incidents, accidents and failures are still occurring.

The ways in which major companies are investing to prevent failure will be outlined but again the problems of small privately owned dams and of succession planning and training will be discussed.

For further details and to book your place visit the ICE events page at: https://www.ice.org.uk/events/lunch-and-learn-dams-do-fail

 

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February 2017: The BDS Needs You!click to view

Ever wanted to be involved in the running of the BDS?

The BDS committee is comprised of volunteers who undertake a term of 3 years on the committee and ensure the smooth running of the society, the calendar of events (evening meetings, technical site visits and conferences) and develop initiatives to help the society and the reservoirs community develop for the future.

Nominations for joining the BDS committee this year are to be by the nomination form available here, which must be completed and returned by 1st February 2017.

If you are unable to volunteer this year, we will be looking for nominations in a years time.

 

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January 2017: ICOLD Need Your Help - Please Complete A Survey To Assist With New ICOLD Technical Bulletinclick to view

BDS is a member of ICOLD, the International Commission on Large Dams, and where possible we contribute to the production of the ICOLD Technical Bulletins that are available to all members.  Many of these bulletins have been summarised in Dams and Reservoirs.

Ken Grubb is the UK representative on the ICOLD Hydromechanical Committee, which is carrying out a survey of incidents and failures that will eventually lead to a new ICOLD Technical Bulletin.

To find out more and take part in the survey please click here.

 

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January 2017: Bateman Awards 2017click to view

In 2000 the British Dam Society instituted an award to the authors of a paper which made a significant contribution to dam engineering or reservoir development.  Andy Hughes as Chairman at the time, and who was then managing the Longdendale Reservoirs for North West Water (now United Utilities) suggested the award after helping the late Geoffrey Binnie with his many books, and having developed a high regard for the engineering carried out by Bateman.

The award is named after the illustrious Victorian dam engineer John Bateman, and is given for a paper in which at least one of the authors is a member of the BDS.

John Frederic La Trobe Bateman was involved in the construction of reservoirs and waterworks through much of the 19th century, many of which were in northern England, but a number also in Scotland and Ireland.  These included the Loch Katrine works for Glasgow and the Thirlmere Scheme for Manchester.  A full obituary of Mr Bateman is available in the 1889 ICE Proceedings, and available here.

The Bateman Award is made every two years by a small panel of BDS members, with the papers considered having been published in the conference proceedings, as well as in all the issues of Dams and Reservoirs and any other relevant publications from the last two years.  The papers are assessed for technical content, originality and readability.  It is an award rather than a prize, and no nominations are required.

Each author receives a framed picture showing photographs of Mr Bateman and the Longdendale chain of reservoirs just north of Glossop which he designed and built.  A plaque on the frame gives the author's name. 

The panel for the current award comprised Andrew Pepper, Paul Farnell, Liz Rivers and Rachel Davies.  One paper was on everyone's short list, and when the combined short list of papers was scored that paper did indeed gain the highest mark.

That paper, which the panel felt made the most significant contribution to dam engineering or reservoir development in the last two years, was published in the Dams and Reservoirs issue dated August 2015 and was titled 'How prepared are we for a reservoir emergency?' by Gemma Morris and Stephen Shakespeare of Welsh Water.  It is recommended reading for all involved with reservoirs.

The authors were presented with their framed award pictures at the BDS evening meeting in London on 16 January 2017 by the BDS chairman, Dr Andy Hughes (photograph available here).

 

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January 2017: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 16th January 2017click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 16th January 2017 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be a presentation on the Banja Dam and Devoll Hydropower Scheme, Albania by Mark Gill and Martin Deane (Mott MacDonald Ltd)

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meeting and events page here.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

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December 2016: Results of the BDS Photo Competition 2016click to view

The winners of the BDS Photo competition 2016 are as follows:-

  1. Winner: John Ackers - Black Esk Reservoir
  2. Second Place: Alexandra Murphy - Pontsticill Reservoir
  3. Third Place: Newman Booth - Scar House Reservoir

The winning photographs can be viewed here.

 

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December 2016: Forthcoming Technical Site visit in December 2016 - Book Now to Reserve Your Placeclick to view

The BDS have arranged a technical site visit in December 2016.

On 8th December 2016 there is the opportunity to visit Butterley Impounding Reservoir, Near Marsden, Huddersfield.

T&C Hawksley were commissioned by Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks to construct the Butterley Reservoir with works commencing in August 1891.

Construction was completed in June 1906.

The spillway is of masonry and concrete construction, located to the RHS of the embankment. The spillway is a Grade II listed structure.

In June 2013 both planning and listed building applications were submitted for improvement works to the spillway and raising of the clay core. The improvement works to the spillway entailed building a new reinforced concrete spillway, within the existing one, and smoothing out the steep cascades with a gradient similar to that of the existing upper spillway. Elements were incorporated into the design to mitigate the visual impact on the existing structure, through reusing the coping stones and lining the external face of the channel in masonry.

Works have been progressing on site since Spring 2016.

For further details of the site visit please see the event flyer here.

Numbers will be limited, so if you wish to reserve a place please email: andrew.hobson@yorkshirewater.co.uk who will confirm acceptance and forward further details.

 

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November 2016: 19th Biennial BDS Conference - Accoladesclick to view

Following the successful 19th BDS conference held at Lancaster University in September 2016 the BDS has received some accolades that can be viewed here.

 

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September 2016: Reservoir Safety Action Group - Research and Development Updateclick to view

The Environment Agency is responsible for reservoir safety R&D in England and Wales and established a Reservoir Safety Theme Group to manage this work under the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programme.

 

Please find attached (here) an update on the research and development programme and a link to the website (here). 

 

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September 2016: BDS Photography Competition 2016 - Closing Date Fast Approachingclick to view

Submit your photographs without delay to be in with a chance of winning the 1st prize of £200 and having your photographs published in Dams and Reservoirs.

Email entries to Tim Fuller (BDS Secretary): tim.fuller@ice.org.uk

Closing date for entries is 30th September 2016 and the winners will be announced in November 2016.

Full details can be found on the competition poster here.

The BDS Photography Competition is open to members of the BDS and ICE as well as Engineering students.

Submitted photos are judged by a panel of BDS Committee Members and cash prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Entrants are entitled to submit two photographs on the this year's topic of: Dams and Reservoirs. 

Entrants retain copyright for their photographs, but copies may be printed in Dams & Reservoirs and used on the BDS website.

 

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June 2016: BDS Conference Registration Closing Date Fast Approaching - Act Now to Reserve Your Placeclick to view

The closing date to register for the 2016 BDS Conference in Lancaster is 1st July 2016.

 

The main theme of the conference will be on how the benefits and disbenefits of dam construction and operation can be balanced, how to ensure that dams are assets rather than liabilities, and will cover a wide range of topics.

 

Places are filling fast so register now to reserve your place, further details available on the BDS Conference website (link here) or please follow the link below to register for the conference:

(Conference Registration)

 

The BDS Conference website includes the conference programme, please refer to the following link:

(Programme)

 

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June 2016: Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 - Important Informationclick to view

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have produced information leaflets regarding the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 for Reservoir Managers and Panel Engineers.

The leaflets are available via the links below and further information is available on the SEPA Reservoirs page (link here).

Reservoir Managers Leaflet available (here)

Panel Engineers Leaflet available (here)

 

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May 2016: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 8th May 2017click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 9th May 2016 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be a presentation by Tim Hill (Mott MacDonald)

The Low Aswan Dam was commissioned in 1902 and raised in subsequent years before the construction of the High Aswan Dam in 1970. This presentation will cover the history of their conception and construction followed by a discussion on the changes they have brought to the Nile Valley.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meeting and events page here.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

NB: CHANGE OF PRESENTATION TOPIC

The presentation on the Haldon Range Earthquake Damage in New Zealand now cannot be given on 9th May. We hope to be able to present this topic at a later date.

 

 

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May 2016: Reservoirs Act (Scotland) 2011 - Appointment to the Reservoirs Panelclick to view

Please note that when applying for reappointment (or first appointments) to reservoirs panels, from 1st April 2016 if you want to be appointed to a panel set up under  Reservoirs Act (Scotland) 2011, you have to fill in a separate form for Scotland, and send to both Scottish government and include it with your application to Defra.  Copies of the form can be downloaded from http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Water/16922/panengineerlist

 

The address for the application to the Scottish government is: The Scottish Government, Flood Risk Management Team, Environmental Quality Division, Environment and Forestry Directorate, Area 1D North, Victoria Quay, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ. Email: reservoir_safety@gov.scot

 

 

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April 2016: Comparison of UK Reservoir Legislationclick to view

Tony Deakin (FCRM Manager) of the Environment Agency Reservoir Safety Team in Exeter has provided the attached document that compares the different legislation impacts in England, Scotland, Wales and NI.

Click here. 

This document is provided by the BDS for information purposes only. Any queries regarding its content should be directed to Tony Deakin directly (tony.deakin@environment-agency.gov.uk).

 

 

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April 2016: ICE Flooding & Water Management Conference - Have your sayclick to view

The ICE Flooding & Water Management Conference takes place on 30th June 2016  (Website link here).

The Conference events team are currently conducting research and designing the programme.  As part of this they would like to hear Member's views and would very much appreciate your input to the short survey below.

If the topic is relevant to you and you can spare a few minutes to assist, please return your responses to the following questions to ben.mcalinden@ice.org.uk

  1. What are the main issues / concerns / problems in the sector?
  2. Are there any changes happening in the sector, which need clarification / further discussion?
  3. What are the main factors that will impact / drive the sector in the years to come?
  4. Are there any specific Case Studies that you know of, which can showcase best practice / innovation in the sector?

NB. the "water management" part of the title means water management in relation to flooding.  We have added this to the title (it was just ICE Flooding Conference in 2015) to reflect the need for a more holistic approach to managing flood risk.  It's not about other aspects of managing water elsewhere in the water sector,  unless it is linked to flooding.

 

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April 2016: Amendments to Reservoirs Act 1975 in Walesclick to view

Ministerial approval has been received for the introduction of new regulations for the Reservoirs Act 1975 in Wales.

The new regulations comes into force from 1 April 2016 and the main amendments are given below and on a briefing note available here.

 The main amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975 in Wales are: 

  1. The requirement for reservoir undertakers to register their reservoirs with a capacity of 10,000 cubic metres, or more, held above natural ground level, 
  2. A duty on Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to designate reservoirs as high-risk reservoirs where an uncontrolled release of water could endanger human life,
  3. Reservoir undertakers must notify NRW of any incident which may affect the safety of large raised reservoirs.

Further details are available on the Natural Resources Wales website link here.

Full details of the new regulations can be read and downloaded at www.legislation.gov.uk or via the links below:

The Reservoirs Act 1975 (Capacity, Registration, Prescribed Forms, etc.) (Wales) Regulations 2016,
The Reservoirs Act 1975 (Exemptions, Appeals and Inspections) (Wales) Regulations 2016,
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional Provisions) (Wales) Order 2016.

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March 2016: STOP PRESS!! BDS Members, would you like the accolade of designing a new BDS logo?click to view

The BDS are in the process of developing a new website for launch later this year, in conjunction with this exciting step we are taking the opportunity to update the BDS logo and we would like your input.

 

We are holding a BDS logo competition, open to all BDS members, where the lucky winner will see their idea developed for use on BDS publication materials...... Oh and receive a £100 cash prize!

To enter the competition please submit your ideas to: Tim Fuller (Secretary, BDS) by email (Tim.Fuller@ice.org.uk) by 4th March 2016.

The new BDS logo will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • It should be relevant to the stock of dams in the UK,
  • It will provide the ability to easily identify the BDS,
  • It  should not contain the name ‘British Dam Society’,
  • It can be produced in colour but should still be identifiable if reproduced in monochrome.

The winning logo will be professionally developed and utilised on the BDS website, publications and promotional materials.

 

Rules.

The winner (chosen by the BDS Committee at the next committee meeting) will receive the cash prize.

Any entries received after the closing date , or submitted to persons other than those specified above will not be entered into the competition.

The BDS logo competition is only open to fully paid up BDS members.

Hand-drawn ideas, scanned in colour are acceptable.

The logo must be original and not a copy from elsewhere.

All copyrights for the selected logo will become the property of BDS.

The BDS reserve the right to not select a winner but retain the existing logo for future use.

 

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March 2016: Next Geological Society Evening Meeting (Burlington House, London) - 2nd March 2016click to view

The next Geological Society's evening meeting will be held at the Burlington House, London on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be presentations by Ljiljana Spasic-Gril (Arup) and Matthew Free (Arup)

The presentation will describe the work undertaken and the experience of a disaster risk management mission to the remote Pamir mountains, Tajikistan where a 1,000,000 m3 mudflow dam formed a 2Mm3 lake.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meeting and events page here.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

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February 2016: Message from Sir John Armitt, President, Institution Of Civil Engineers Call for Evidence to the National Needs Assessmentclick to view

I am delighted to invite you to submit evidence to the National Needs Assessment (NNA) project, which I am chairing on behalf of a coalition of industry, business, utilities and environmental groups.

Along with many other organisations, I have long argued for an evidence-based, long-term strategy to help policy-makers with the often difficult and controversial infrastructure decisions they have to take. Since Summer 2015, I have been working with a coalition of organisations – the NNA Executive Group - to deliver a long term assessment for the UK’s infrastructure.  We are now seeking your help in setting the context for the National Needs Assessment report and to inform the evidence base for the research.

Your evidence is important to us and I hope you will contribute to this important piece of work.  To find the call for evidence questions, posed by the NNA Executive Group, please visit the ICE website. You can also find more information about the coalition.

The call for evidence will close at 5pm on Monday 29th February 2016.

I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to review our questions and provide evidence. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Wescott, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at andrew.wescott@ice.org.uk.

With my best wishes

Sir John Armitt

President, Institution of Civil Engineers

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February 2016: Please Check Your Registered Email Addressclick to view

Dear BDS Members/ Enews subscribers

We are currently receiving circa 220 returned emails following the distribution of the Ezines and Enews emails. We assume that these addresses are now obsolete and intend to remove them from the database at the end of January 2016.

Therefore please could you log in to the members area of the BDS website (link here) and check if the email addresses assigned to you need amending.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Regards

                BDS Website Manager

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January 2016: 10th ICOLD European Club International Symposium- 25-30 October 2016 in Antalya, Turkeyclick to view

The Symposium will be a joint effort of the Turkish National Committee on Large Dams (TRCOLD) and the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI).

Full details can be found here http://www.trcold.com/ , with key dates being:

  • Abstract Submission (Online) : 31 January 2016
  • Abstract Review and Feedback to Authors : 1 March 2016
  • Full Paper Submission : 25 April 2016
  • Full Paper Reviewed and Feedback to Authors : 31 May 2016
  • Final Notification of Paper Acceptance and Oral or Poster Presentations : 15 June 2016
  • Early Registration Discount Deadline : 1 March 2016

 

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December 2015: The Civil Engineering Triennial Summit 2015click to view

The Civil Engineering Triennial Summit returns to London for the first time in a decade on 9th and 10th December 2015.

The topic of the summit is:Resilience and Growth for Future Cities and will connect decision makers and the investment community from around the world with engineers, technology experts and built environment professionals at the forefront of civic resilience. 

Representing three global engineering institutions, ICE, ASCE and the CSCE the event is a unique opportunity for the profession to come together and address some of the global challenges engineers face.

For further details see the flyer here.

 There is a 20% discount available for BDS members, please request details from Tim Fuller 

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December 2015: Updated Bibliographiesclick to view

Dr Paul Tedd and Dr Andrew Charles have recently updated two bibliographies, which can be found in the Members' area of the BDS website (Publications and Bibliography page).

One is a bibliography of all conference papers to date, and the other is a bibliography which it is hoped includes all known papers on UK dams.

It is the latter that Paul and Andrew would appreciate your help with.  If you are aware of a paper about a UK dam that has been omitted please e-mail Paul Tedd on paultedd@hotmail.co.uk  to provide him with the details.

 

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November 2015: Results of BDS Prize and Photo Competitionclick to view

The final of the BDS prize was held at the ICE, London on Monday 16th November 2015. The BDS Prize is a technical paper competition for engineers below the age of 35. The three finalists presented their work in front of an audience of reservoir panel engineers and BDS members the results were as follows:-

  1. Winner: Kate Speirs (MMB) - Spillway Design Innovation: Pre-cast Concrete “U-Sections” & Rail Installation System
  2. Second Place: Rhys Coombs  (MWH) - A comparison of physical scale models, CFD models, and observed events at the original spillway of a UK dam
  3. Third Place: Chris Oates (GHD Livigunn) - Integration and Innovation – Combined Temporary and Permanent Work Design Swinden & Lee Green Impounding Reservoir Spillway Upgrades

 

The winners of the BDS Photo competition were also announced on the night and the results are as follows:-

  1. Winner: James Parkhurst -Craig Goch Dam
  2. Second Place:Stewart Roberts - Glencorse Reservoir
  3. Third Place:Ross Morrin - Daer Reservoir

 

 A recording of this meeting is available using the link on the BDS Meetings Page 'Listen Again' section.

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November 2015: BDS 19th Biennial Conference - Call for Papersclick to view

The 2016 BDS Conference will be held at Lancaster University from September 7th to September 10th.

The main theme of the conference will be: How the benefits and disbenefits of dam construction and operation can be balanced, to ensure that dams are assets rather than liabilities, and will cover a wide range of topics.

Submissions of papers are invited to cover the below topics with further details available on the flyer here.

Synopses of not more than 250 words should be submitted by 20th November 2015 to Andrew Pepper, the BDS Honorary Technical Secretary, by e-mail to atpec@peppernet.org.

Papers are invited to cover the following topics:

  • Legislation changes - throughout the UK,
  • Environmental aspects - minimising constraints and maximising opportunities,
  • Mechanical and electrical components of dams,
  • Incidents affecting the safety of dams,
  • Geotechnical investigations and design impacts,
  • Risk analyses - minimising the liabilities,
  • Construction case studies,
  • Efficiency in monitoring and surveillance,
  • Cost-effective maintenance and repairs,
  • Discontinuance of existing reservoirs,
  • Operating procedures for ensuring reservoir safety.

Completed Papers will be required by 11th March 2016

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November 2015: Autumn Update on Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programmeclick to view

Reservoir Safety Research and Development News.

The EA have published a brief update on current and planned research projects on reservoir safety by the Joint Defra / Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) R&D Programme.

Update available here or via website here.

Update Synopsis below.

Current research projects:

  • Guidance on reservoir conduits (including tunnels, culverts and pipes) - This project is developing guidance for reservoir owners and operators on the inspection, monitoring, investigation, maintenance and repair of reservoir conduits.
  • Investigating the structural safety of cracked concrete dams - The assessment of cracks in dams needs to consider the specifics of the design and construction of each dam and its environment. No two dams are the same, so no simple general rules can be defined.
  • Reservoir Safety Research Strategy - The Reservoir Safety Research Strategy published in 2008 is out-of-date and needs to be refreshed to reflect current priorities.
  • Guide to Drawdown Capacity for Reservoir Safety and Emergency Planning - The Environment Agency is currently working on a project looking at the optimum hydraulic capacity of low-level outlets for reservoirs.
  • Design, Operation & Adaptation of Reservoirs for Flood Storage - The Environment Agency is developing new guidance on reservoirs for flood storage, under its project "Design, Operation and Adaptation of Reservoirs for Flood Storage".

Planned Research

  • Performance of grass and soil in resisting erosion - One of the ways in which an embankment dam or flood embankment can fail is through failure of the grass cover and erosion of the embankment soil, whether via overflowing, overtopping or internal erosion. The rate of erosion - and hence the speed of failure and nature of any flood hydrograph generated by a release of stored water - depends on the performance of the grass cover and the soil erodibility.
  • Dambreak analysis - Understanding and predicting the process by which reservoirs may fail catastrophically is fundamental to how we manage the risk involved.   

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November 2015: Technical Site Visit to Ardsley En-route Storage Reservoirclick to view

 Ardsley En-route Storage Reservoir is located near Wakefield and is used to store water from other impounding reservoirs and it's small direct catchment to supply Kirkhamgate WTW.

Remedial works are currently ongoing to refurbish the brick lined spillway with sprayed concrete and open stone asphalt.

Yorkshire Water and Mott MacDonald Bentley Ltd are providing an opportunity to undertake a technical site visit to these works on 4th November 2015.

Spaces are limited and booking is required, for further details and booking information please visit the events page here.  

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October 2015: 84th ICOLD Annual Meeting - Call for Papers - Abstract Submission Date Extendedclick to view

The 84th ICOLD Annual Meeting will be hosted by South Africa from 15th to 20th May 2016.

A Symposium will be held on Wednesday 18 May 2016 with a title of "Appropriate Technology to Ensure Proper Development, Operation and Maintenance of Dams in Developing Countries".

We now Call for Papers regarding the various themes.

BDS members are reminded that any synopses should be submitted to the BDS Secretary (email link here) as the submission is required from the ICOLD National Committee (BDS) and not individuals. 

Please submit your Abstracts before 16th October 2015.

Further details are available on the ICOLD 2016 website www.icold2016.org and from the flyer available here.


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October 2015: Best Practice For Sediment Management for Reservoirs and River Impoundmentsclick to view

A collaborative, UKWIR project, has just started that will be of great interest to reservoir owners, operators and Panel Engineers.

Dams form a barrier to sediment continuity and under the Water Framework Directive reservoirs are considered as "heavily modified water bodies".

The project is being funded and managed by UK Water Industry Research Ltd. (UKWIR).

A project scoping meeting was held in London on 9th September and was attended by representatives from most English, Welsh and Scottish water companies and regulators.  The project plans to include Northern Ireland representatives and outcomes will be applicable well beyond the Water Industry.

As the sole reservoir engineer present at the scoping meeting, I made clear our concerns over the need to be able to routinely operate scour valves.  There was consensus around the room that this was a national problem both from a consenting and operational perspective and I am encouraged to report that it will be addressed through the project as well.

The forum included several case studies. A lot of good work has already been achieved on sediment management and clearance particularly by United Utilities. During his presentation, Matt Buckley (UU), did stress that up to 5 years communication, consultation and negotiations had preceded some UU de-silting schemes.

Understandably siltation problems differ between upland and lowland catchments and these will both be addressed through the project.

I plan to provide a further update once the project scope and programme are fully defined.

In the interim if you wish to engage further with the project please contact Neil Whiter the UKWIR Project Manager at: neilwhiter@hotmail.com.


Ian Hope

Severn Trent Water

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October 2015: Scottish Reservoirs Charging Scheme 2015 to 2018click to view

As previously communicated, SEPA published a consultation on a proposed new charging scheme under the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011.

This consultation ran from 15 May until 10 July 2015. SEPA have now published an analysis report of the consultation responses and have written individually to all those who responded. Both the analysis report and summary letter of conclusions and planned actions are published on the SEPA website here or they can also be accessed via the SEPA 'Citizen Space' portal here.

The Reservoirs Charging scheme 2015-2018 has now been published on the SEPA website and is available here.


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September 2015: Small enterprise, great inspiration: Dove Stone Hydropowerclick to view

This is the story of a small-scale community enterprise tucked away in the Peak District - but one that shows what can be achieved by working together, and how we can take little steps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change.

Dove Stone Reservoir sits in the parish of Saddleworth, on the edge of the Peak District national park. The team at Saddleworth Community Hydro has invested in retrofitting an existing 30m high head dam at the reservoir site. The £0.5 million scheme now generates 46kW of hydro-electricity continuously, distributed via the National Grid.

For further details visit the blog article here.

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September 2015: Register your Scottish Reservoirs Now! - Registration Deadline is 30th September 2015click to view

Only four weeks remain until the deadline for operators to register their Scottish Reservoir(s) with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Following the introduction of the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011, responsibility for reservoir safety will transfer from local authorities to SEPA during 2016.

To help support the change in regulation, SEPA issued existing operators with pre-populated, hard copy registration forms at the beginning of April, which should be completed and returned before the registration period ends on 30 September.

As registration is a legal requirement under the Act, any operators who fail to provide the relevant forms before the deadline will face a registration charge and possible enforcement action.

 
SEPA's Flood Risk Manager stated

"With only four weeks remaining, it's imperative that operators complete these forms as soon as possible, not only to avoid charges once the free registration period ends but to comply with their legal obligations. The registration data will allow us to issue a provisional risk designation for each reservoir, which may, in certain circumstances, allow a reduced level of inspection once the regulatory duties transfer from local authorities to SEPA.  This is a key aspect of the new, risk based approach to reservoir safety."

Any operators who are unsure of what information is required, are advised to contact SEPA's Reservoir Regulatory Unit via reservoirs@sepa.org.uk or 03000 99 66 99, prior to returning their registration form. 

 

Previous article below.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has provided a statement (attached here) to remind all Scottish Reservoir Managers that the six month free registration period commenced on 1st April 2015.

The SEPA guidance that disseminates the regulatory changes with regard to large raised reservoirs in Scotland following the introduction of The Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 is available here and summarised below.

In summary there will be a phased transition to the 2011 Act with the first phase requiring the registration of reservoirs from 1st April 2015 culminating in SEPA receiving full national regulatory function in 2016 (salient changes listed below):

  • Risk designations based on the consequences of an uncontrolled release of water will be assigned to each reservoir,
  • A public register will be held which will include a reservoir inundation map for each registered reservoir showing the area of land likely to be flooded in the event of an uncontrolled release of water,
  • When the 2011 Act is fully implemented, the threshold for registration will reduce from 25,000 cubic metres to just 10,000 cubic metres capacity, bringing smaller reservoirs under regulation and providing a more comprehensive regulatory regime,
  • The Reservoir Manager or Owner, referred to as the Undertaker in the 1975 Act, has a wider definition in the 2011 Act to include those that lease or use the water.

Please refer to the guidance document (available here), the statement (available here) or visit the SEPA web site for further information: www.sepa.org.uk/reservoirs

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September 2015: BDS Photography Competition 2015 - Now Openclick to view

Submit your photographs without delay to be in with a chance of winning the 1st prize of £200 and having your photographs published in Dams and Reservoirs.

Email entries to Tim Fuller (BDS Secretary): tim.fuller@ice.org.uk

Closing date for entries is 30th September 2015 and the winners will be announced in November 2015.

Full details can be found on the competition poster here.

The BDS Photography Competition is open to members of the BDS and ICE as well as Engineering students.

Submitted photos are judged by a panel of BDS Committee Members and cash prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Entrants are entitled to submit two photographs on the this year's topic of: Dams and Reservoirs. 

Entrants retain copyright for their photographs, but copies may be printed in Dams & Reservoirs and used on the BDS website.

 

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September 2015: CIRIA Guide Launch - Effective asset management of dam & reservoir conduitsclick to view

On Thursday 10th September 2015 (14:30 to 17:15) a dissemination event will be held in London (venue to be confirmed).

The event will feature an overview of the guide from the Research Team as well as presentations on reservoirs highlighted by case studies in the guide.

Further details on the event can be found here, or on the CIRIA website: www.ciria.org


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September 2015: 2016 ICOLD European Working Group on Internal Erosion - Call for Papersclick to view

The ICOLD European Working Group on Internal Erosion, to which all are welcome to attend, meets every second year at the International Conferences on Scour and Erosion jointly with the Scour and (Surface) Erosion Group (Technical Committee 213) of the International Society on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

The next convening of the International Conferences on Scour and Erosion is in Oxford from 12th to 15th September 2016.

Abstracts for the 2016 internal erosion meeting are to be submitted by 01 September 2015. The First Announcement, available here and  www.icse2016.com  provide further details.

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July 2015: BDS Prize Competition for Young Engineers - Act Now the Closing Date is Looming.click to view

The BDS Prize Competition for young engineers is held every two years and is open to BDS members under 35 years of age on the date of the competition.

The submitted paper (2500 words) will be on a topic of dam engineering relating to the author's experience in research, design, construction and supervision. It is not essential that papers describe original work but the authors should have had an involvement in the work. There must be only one author.

Further details on the flyer available here.

The next competition will take place on 16th November 2015 at the Institution of Civil Engineers where the following prizes will be contested.

  • First Prize - £800
  • Second Prize - £400
  • Third Prize - £200

 

 Key Dates

  •  Synopses submission deadline - 31st July 2015
  • Completed Papers submission deadline - 30th September 2015
  • BDS Prize Competition to be held at ICE - 16th November 2015

To Enter the Competition:

Candidates must submit a 250 word synopsis of their proposed paper together with their brief biographical details to Tim Fuller (Secretary, BDS) by email (Tim.Fuller@ice.org.uk) by 31st July 2015.

The authors of synopses assessed as being relevant to the competition will be invited to submit their completed papers by 30th September 2015.

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June 2015: Technical Workshop on Design, Operation & Adaption of Reservoirs for Flood Storageclick to view

The Environment Agency's project on guidance for flood storage reservoirs will be holding a workshop at the end of June specifically to focus on the dual use or adaptation of existing reservoirs for flood storage purposes. (Workshop details are available here).

If you have any experience on adapting existing reservoirs for flood storage,  either to replace the original use or to provide dual use,  then the project team would like to hear from you,  with the possibility of attending the workshop to share your experience.

Your experience may be as panel engineer,  owner / undertaker,  consultant or local authority - the wider the range of experience providing input to the guidance the better it will be! 

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June 2015: Scottish Reservoirs Charging Scheme Consultation - Reservoir Managers' Views Requiredclick to view

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has launched a consultation to seek Reservoir Managers' views on the proposed new charging scheme for reservoir safety which is planned to be introduced on 1 October 2015.

SEPA is required to fully recover the direct regulatory and administrative costs of carrying out its duties under the Reservoirs (Scotland) 2011 Act and it is proposed that these will be recovered from fees and charges, in accordance with the 2011 Act and the Reservoirs (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

The consultation, which is a statutory obligation under the 2011 Act, seeks to gain feedback from reservoir operators on a range of charges including the proposed level of registration fee (out with the initial 6 month free registration period), annual subsistence costs and other charges.

The consultation will run until Friday 10 July 2015.

For more information about the consultation and to submit your response visit SEPA's website.

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May 2015: ICE Flooding 2015 - Future Proofing for Business and Communitiesclick to view

On 13 May in London over 200 senior members of the wider flood community will come together at ICE Flooding 2015.

The third consecutive event in the series will explore detailed case studies looking at how far the UK has come in terms of sustainable flood risk management in the last eight years and what is being done to ensure long term planning to protect business,  infrastructure and residents.

Programme sessions include:

  • The latest on strategy for flood defence from the Environment Agency
  • The scale of the challenge - an update from Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs
  • Climate change predictions and data
  • Drivers of risks and avoiding future floods and droughts

The event will be expertly chaired by ICE's President David Balmforth and Jean Venables CBE, Chief Executive of ADA  and former ICE President.

The programme also features speakers from the Environment Agency, Network Rail, UK Rainwater Management Association, Nottingham City Council and Southwark Council.

For further information and to register please visit the BDS meetings page, link available here, or the ICE website, link available here

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April 2015: BDS 12th Supervising Engineers' Forum - Booking Now closedclick to view

Registration for the BDS 12th Supervising Engineers' Forum is now closed. 

The forum will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, nr Birmingham, West Midlands, B92 0EJ on Wednesday 29th April 2015.

For further details please refer to the event flyer, available here.

The Forum will comprise four presentation sessions.  The presentation topics are still to be finalised but the following are provisionally proposed:

  • Updates in legislation - particularly the application of the new statutory instruments,
  • Practical session - Health and Safety, Routine Inspections and Emergency Planning,
  • Succession Planning - Current position and the application and reapplication process,
  • Risk Management - Latest techniques and their application.

The presentations will be followed by an open forum discussion.

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March 2015: Procrastination Over Legislative Changeclick to view

Following the extreme flooding in 2007,  Sir Michael Pitt was appointed by the government to consider how to improve the country's resilience.

He took evidence from many of those affected and industry experts,  including leading panel engineers.  He recognised the need to regulate the Small Raised Reservoirs (SRRs) that constitute a risk to those living and working downstream in the inundation shadow cast by the dam.

For reservoirs,  the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 enshrines the outcome of this process,  but a key component of this legislative change has stalled.

Since the Act was passed Defra has delayed the introduction of this part of the Act seeking "further evidence".  Both the EA and BDS have provided this.  We have written and met with Defra to urge them to progress with these logical changes.

It is with some considerable frustration that I have read the following announcement from Defra which I believe to be politically driven.  We will be unrelenting in our drive to improve the resilience of these structures by urging Defra to complete the logical process initiated by the independent lead they appointed,  Sir Michael Pitt.

Ian Hope Chair of BDS


"Dear all,
We would like to draw your attention to a briefing note that has been published today,  announcing a recent Ministerial decision not to extend reservoir safety regulations to cover smaller reservoirs at the present time.  The note is aimed at reservoir owners,  engineers and other parties who have an interest in reservoir safety policy in England.

Briefing Note from Defra available here

As explained in the briefing note,  Defra intends to work with the engineering community and other interested parties to inform a future decision on whether or not to regulate smaller reservoirs.  To this end, we intend to hold a meeting after the election to review the gaps in the existing evidence base and how best to address them.  We will invite representatives of interested stakeholder groups,  including the engineering,  farming and reservoir owning communities. Regards,

Jon Bowers

FloodEmergency Planning,  Infrastructure and Reservoirs Team

Dept. for the Environment,  Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)"

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March 2015: BDS Evening Meeting & AGM - 30th March 2015 - 6.00pmclick to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 30th March 2015 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The meeting will start with the Annual General Meeting of the British Dam Society.

BDS Members are urged to attend the AGM in person. If you are a paid-up BDS member and have not received your papers for the AGM please contact the Secretary, Tim Fuller, without delay.

A technical presentation by Jonathan Simm (HR Wallingford), Remy Tourment (Irstea, France) and Jackie Banks (Environment Agency) will then follow. 

The presentation will introduce the International Levee Handbook (ILH 2013) and summarise some of the key technical issues which emerged in relation to the UK context.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the event flyer here

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. 

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March 2015: The New Chris Binnie Award to Recognise Work in the Water Sector that has Benefited Societyclick to view

The award has been commissioned by ICE's Water Expert Panel and is sponsored by long-serving Panel member and ICE fellow,  Professor Chris Binnie.

The Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management can be entered by individuals or organisations,  including water companies,  consultants,  contractors,  research bodies,  regulators,  governments and community groups.

It is open to any engineering project,  programme of works,  policy,  or piece of research which you think deserves acclaim.

Projects and initiatives from around the world can be entered,  although they must be completed by 1 May 2015.

You don't have to be an ICE member to enter.

 For further details and to enter please visit the ICE website, link available here

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March 2015: Workshop for New Guidance Development - Design, Operation & Adaption of Reservoirs for Flood Storageclick to view

The Environment Agency are currently preparing a new guidance document on the planning,  design and operation of flood storage reservoirs and the adaptation of existing reservoirs for flood storage.  The work is being carried out by Mott MacDonald.

There will be a workshop on flood storage reservoirs in London on Tuesday 3rd March 2015.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss key issues which should be covered in the new guide, flyer available here.

Attendance at the event is limited and the majority of attendees have been confirmed. In the event that spaces remain available, could you please consider whether you would like to attend this event? If so, please express your interest by contacting Tom Rosenberg before the 27 February 2015 at: thomas.rosenberg@mottmac.com

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February 2015: 2014 Competition Resultsclick to view

The results of the 2014 Photography competition:

1st Prize: Ali Uromeihy - Karoon-3 Dam Iran,

2nd Prize: Kate Speirs - Widdop,

3rd Prize: Mark Cooper - Pontsticill.

 

The results of the 2014 Student competition:

1st Prize: Max James from Bristol University,

2nd Prize: Robert Henley from Bristol University,

3rd Prize: Zong Hao Tan from Warwick University.

 

For further information, please visit the Competitions page: http://www.britishdams.org/competitions/default.asp

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February 2015: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 16th February 2015click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 16th February 2015 at 5.30pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.00pm.

The evening meeting will be a presentation by Andrew Pepper (ATPEC).

The presentation will discuss how the the design of flood storage reservoirs (FSRs) has developed over the last 40 years, the differences between FSRs and conventional water storage reservoirs, including a review of salient flow control infrastructure.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the event flyer here.

The event is free and open to the public.  The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page.  On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

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January 2015: Update - Guide to Drawdown Capacity for UK Reservoir Safetyclick to view

The Environment Agency has commissioned a project, which is currently being completed under the joint Environment Agency / Defra Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) research and development programme, to research and produce guidance on the drawdown capacity required for reservoir safety.

A key factor in avoiding and minimising the impact of catastrophic dam failure is the ability to draw a reservoir down in the event of an emergency.  In the UK there is currently no single accepted approach to determine what represents an acceptable rate of reservoir drawdown.

The project is being carried out in the following three stages:

  • STAGE 1 - Scoping and viability
  • STAGE 2 - Produce guidance
  • STAGE 3 - Dissemination

The project is currently in stage 2 and the paper, available here, summarises the research findings from stage 1 and introduces the approach for the next stage.

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January 2015: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 19th January 2015click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 19th January 2015 at 5.30pm.  Refreshments will be available from 5.00pm.

The evening meeting will be presentations by Jon Walker (Mott MacDonald Bentley), John Chesterton (Mott MacDonald), David Neeve (Arup) and Andrew Hobson (Yorkshire Water).

The presentations will discuss the use of CFD modelling for spillway analysis, the advantages and disadvantages of the models and suggestions for further R&D with regard to using CFD in this field.  The presentation will also include case studies on two Yorkshire reservoirs that have recently been analysed using CFD modelling.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the event flyer here

The event is free and open to the public.  The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page.  On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

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January 2015: Industry Questionnaire - Guide to Drawdown Capacity for UK Reservoir Safetyclick to view

A key factor in avoiding and minimising the impact of catastrophic dam failure is the ability to draw a reservoir down in the event of an emergency.

In the UK there is currently no single accepted approach defining what represents an acceptable rate of reservoir drawdown.  Some reservoir owners adopt their own internal guidance standards while some Panel Engineers apply their own 'rules of thumb' when advising on the capacity of low level outlets or other drawdown facilities.

The Environment Agency has therefore commissioned a research project with the aim of producing guidance on the drawdown capacity required for reservoir safety.

To ensure the guidance meets the requirements of the UK Reservoir Industry the research team would appreciate the completion of the Industry Questionnaire (available below) by all stakeholders involved with UK reservoirs.

Industry Questionnaire available here

Questionnaire guidance notes available here

Completed questionnaires to be returned to the research team by 18th January 2015.

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January 2015: BDS 12th Supervising Engineers' Forum - Call for Papersclick to view

The BDS 12th Supervising Engineers' Forum will be held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, nr Birmingham, West Midlands, B92 0EJ on Wednesday 29th April 2015.

The Forum will comprise four presentation sessions.  The presentation topics are still to be finalised but the following are provisionally proposed:

  • Updates in legislation - particularly the application of the new statutory instruments,
  • Practical session - Health and Safety, Routine Inspections and Emergency Planning,
  • Succession Planning - Current position and the application and reapplication process,
  • Risk Management - Latest techniques and their application.

Synopses for presentations are requested relating to one of the above-mentioned themes, or any other topic, that may be directly applicable to Supervising Engineers or Undertakers.

For further details please view the Call for Presentations here.

The closing date for submission of synopses will be Friday 16th January 2015.

Authors of those synopses that are short-listed will be contacted and final presentations requested.

The closing date for submission of final presentations will be Friday 10th April 2015.

All submissions are to be forwarded to Newman Booth and David Neeve by email (Newman.Booth@uuplc.co.uk & David.Neeve@arup.com) or by post (c/o Arup, 78 East Street, Leeds LS9 8EE). 

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December 2014: BDS Student Competition 2014 - Closing date fast approachingclick to view

Open to students from universities in full-time education,  YINI students and first year graduates.

1st prize: £400 and expenses paid trip to the Supervising Engineer's Forum in April 2015 near Birmingham

For further details please view the Competition Flyer here.

To enter, students will need to submit the following documents:

  • An essay of between 1000 and 1500 words on the topic: 'What does Society need of its Dam Engineers?'
  • A statement outlining what you would gain from attending the Supervising Engineer's Forum in 2015

Email entries to Tim Fuller (BDS Secretary): tim.fuller@ice.org.uk 

Closing date for entries is 20th December 2014.

 

 

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December 2014: Reservoir Safety Research Strategy - EA Project Workshop (Participants Required)click to view

There are still spaces available at the Reservoir Safety Research Strategy workshop in Solihull on 2nd December 2014.

If you are able to attend please contact John Chesterton to register (details below).

If you are unable to attend the workshop but have some suggestions to offer on reservoir safety research requirements for the next 5-10 years, please e-mail your suggestions to Mr Chesterton by 27th November at the latest so that they can be considered during the workshop.

To register or submit a research idea please contact john.chesterton@mottmac.com

The Reservoir Safety Research Strategy was last updated in 2008.  It is now out of date and needs to be refreshed to reflect current priorities.

Priorities have been revised because of:

  1. New challenges presented to reservoir managers and operators through recent severe weather events and in the face of climate change,
  2. Developments in methods and materials,
  3. Changes in legislation,
  4. Requirements arising from recent research and incidents.

For further details please view the workshop flyer here or visit the BDS meetings and events page link here.

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November 2014: Next BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 17th November 2014click to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 17th November 2014 at 6.00pm.  Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be presentations by Alan Warren (Mott MacDonald) and Alex Macdonald (Jacobs).

The first presentation will provide an overview of the recent amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975 (for reservoirs located in England and Wales) and the impact of the new legislation on reservoir stakeholders together with an introduction to the recently published second edition of the Guide to the Act.

The second presentation will highlight the salient differences between the reservoir legislation in Scotland and England together with providing a synopsis of steps to be completed to enable full implementation.

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the event flyer here

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

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October 2014: ICOLD Congres 2015 - Submission of Papersclick to view

The next ICOLD Annual Congress meeting will be close to our shores in Stavanger,  Norway from the 13th - 20th June 2015.    This will be a marvellous opportunity to attend an ICOLD event.

For further details of the conference please visit: http://icoldnorway2015.org or refer to the BDS events page: http://www.britishdams.org/meetings.asp

The 'questions' which are the subject of the papers presented are:

  • Question 96 - Innovation and utilisation of dams & reservoirs
  • Question 97 - Spillways
  • Question 98 - Embankments and tailings dams
  • Question 99 - Upgrading and re-engineering of existing dams

We have negotiated an extension of time for papers so if anyone would like to submit a paper then they need to submit a paper through the BDS committee by 30th October 2014.

If anyone has already submitted a paper straight to ICOLD could they let Andy Hughes (andy.hughes@atkinsglobal.com) know.

BDS would encourage any member to submit a paper to ICOLD.

If you can't meet these deadlines then think about preparing a paper for the next ICOLD event which will be held in Johannesburg in 2016.

If you would like any more information on ICOLD and its role or get more involved with ICOLD please contact Andy Hughes.

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October 2014: Young Engineer's Forum (YEF)click to view

BDS is supporting a very important initiative which is important for our future - that of a Young Engineer's Forum (YEF).

The Forum will be set up to facilitate the profession / development opportunities and increase the membership of young professionals.

The group name,  Young Engineer's Forum,  is a working title and may change as the group develops but it is clear that BDS has not attracted enough young members into its organisation.

The new group will be 'managed' by a small group probably including a chairman and vice-chairman and the chairman will sit on the main committee.

Sam Bright from Welsh Water (samuel.bright@dwrcymru.com) is leading this initiative at the moment and managed to gather a group together over lunch at the Belfast conference at which Andy Hughes spoke and at which Geoff French,  the ICE president,  gave encouragement.

The Forum is likely to facilitate networking between young members,  arrange social evenings,  social events,  team building exercises,  a mentoring scheme,  charity work opportunities,  obtain career advice and assist in BDS initiatives with schools and universities.

If you are interested in this group and initiative please make contact with Sam or Andy Hughes (andy.hughes@atkinsglobal.com) and if you know any young people (under the age of 35 years) who might be interested in this initiative,  and are not yet a BDS member please pass this information onto them.

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October 2014: ICE and Snow trip December 2014click to view

BDS Members are welcome to join this year's ICE & Snow trip from 14-21 December,  organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

ICE & Snow,  which has been running since 2004,  is an annual,  seven-day ski trip combining engineering challenges with alpine activities.    Staying at the highly popular Tarrentaise Hotel in Meribel in the French Alps,  the event attracts professional engineers and their families,  from around the UK.    It is also an opportunity for graduates,  students and like-minded professionals to gather in a unique,  inspiring environment.

ICE has secured discounted rates on flights and accommodation and the trip offers excellent value for money.

For further information please visit: http://www.ice.org.uk/Education/ICE-SNOW

You can also read the blog here: http://www.ice.org.uk/topics/Associated-Societies/Associated-societies-blog/September-2014/ICE-and-Snow

 

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October 2014: Tonight's BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 6th October 2014click to view

The next British Dam Society evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 6th October 2014 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be a technical presentation by James Penman (CH2M Hill), Tony Morrison (CH2M Hill), Mike Palmer (CH2M Hill) and Brian Jackson (Bachy Soletanche) and the presentation will be on "Wimbleball Dam Grouting Works".

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meetings page of the BDS website.
The event is free and open to the public.
The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.  

 

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October 2014: Early October site visitsclick to view

Early October is a busy time for site visit opportunities:

1 October: Eccup - siphon installation for drawdown enhancement with Yorkshire Water and MMB (Yorkshire)

4 October: Site visit to Belvide Reservoir with the Canal & River Trust (Staffordshire)

More details about the visits and of how to reserve your place can be found on the BDS website: meetings & events (http://www.britishdams.org/meetings.asp)

 

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August 2014: 18th Biennial BDS Conference in Belfast 3rd to 6th September 2014click to view

Last chance to register for the Biennial Conference - registration closing date extended until 15th August 2014

To register for the conference please use the below link.

Conference Registration

 

BDS Conference website includes the synopses of the papers and the conference programme, please refer to the following links:

Programme

Synopses

 

The post-conference tour to the Giant's Causeway and surrounding area is confirmed, details and registration form available here

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August 2014: Reservoir Safety R&D Newsclick to view

The Environment Agency Reservoir Safety Team has supplied the attached document to provide a brief update on the following joint Defra / EA Reservoir Safety R&D projects:

Recently Completed Research

  • Risk Assessment for Reservoirs
  • Lessons Learned from Dam Incidents
  • Modes of Dam Failure and Monitoring and Measurement Techniques

On-going Research

  • Guidance on Reservoir Conduits
  • Investigating the Structural Safety of Cracked Concrete Dams
  • Determining the Optimum Hydraulic Capacity of Low-Level Outlets for Reservoirs

Research due for Commencement

  • Guidance on the Design of Flood Storage Reservoirs
  • The Performance of Grass and Soil in Resisting Erosion

The full document is available here.

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June 2014: Defra Contact Detailsclick to view

We have been advised that during the amalgamation of the Government web sites to "gov.uk" some of the web links were broken.

The web page relating to Reservoir safety can be found here.

Or

The Defra Reservoir Safety team can be contacted via the following email address ReservoirFM@defra.gsi.gov.uk

 

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June 2014: Reservoir Safety in Wales - Welsh Government Consultationclick to view

The Welsh Government's consultation on the process for bringing into force the amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975 has now started and will end on 13th August 2014.

This consultation (document available here) seeks views on how to bring Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act in Wales into force.  This makes amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975.  It is proposed that the whole of Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 comes into force in one go in Wales.  This means that the 1975 Act, as amended by the 2010 Act will apply to all large raised reservoirs with a capacity of over 10,000 cubic metres immediately.  This is about 4 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Responsibility for the enforcement of reservoir safety in Wales rests with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and they will be responsible for identifying the reservoirs that are at risk.  High risk reservoirs are those where human life would be in danger should there be an uncontrolled release of water.

Comments on these proposals are welcomed.  All responses, including alternative suggestions to the preferred option, will be considered.

For further details and to respond please visit the Welsh Government website here

The consultation will end on 13 August 2014.

 

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June 2014: Changes to the Reservoir Act 1975 in England - Information for Reservoir Owners, Operators and Panel Engineersclick to view

Schedule 4 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 made a number of changes to the Reservoirs Act 1975 ('the Act').    These changes came into force in England in July 2013.


The note attached here provides information on the main changes and how they may affect you.


Defra and the Institution of Civil Engineers are due to publish a revised guide to the Reservoirs Act 1975 in August 2014.

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June 2014: ICOLD and ICID response to criticism of Large Damsclick to view

Joint Letter from ICOLD and ICID to the World Bank in repsonse to criticism of large dams availabe here.

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June 2014: Site visit: Salmon?s Brook Flood Storage Reservoir - Enfieldclick to view

There will be an afternoon site visit to Salmon's Brook Flood Storage Reservoir, Enfield in North London, on Wednesday 9 July 2014 starting at 14:00. The visit will be hosted by The Environment Agency.

A flyer describing the event in more detail is available on the BDS website: meetings & events (http://www.britishdams.org/meetings.asp).

Numbers are limited to 15. For more information and to reserve a place, please contact John Gosden on 07984 006178 or John.Gosden@jacobs.com.

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June 2014: Site visit: Shon Sheffrey Reservoir labyrinth weir and spillway improvements click to view

There will be a site visit to Shon Sheffrey Reservoir labyrinth weir and spillway improvements near Tredegar in South Wales on Wednesday 25 June 2014. The visit will be hosted by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. A flyer describing the event in more detail is available on the BDS website: meetings & events (http://www.britishdams.org/meetings.asp).

A light lunch will be available from midday at a hostelry in Tredegar. Transport to the reservoir from Tredegar will be provided.

Numbers are limited. For more information and to reserve a place, please contact Richard Terrell on 01633 436398 or Richard.Terrell@dwrcymru.com.

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May 2014: Tonight's BDS Evening Meeting (ICE London) - 19th May 2014click to view

The next British Dam Society evening meeting will be held this evening at the ICE, London on Monday 19th May 2014 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm.

The evening meeting will be a technical presentation by Rodney Bridle (Dam Safety Ltd) and his presentation will be on "ICOLD Bulletin 164: Internal erosion of existing dams, levees and dikes, and their foundations".

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the meetings page of the BDS website.

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.

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March 2014: BDS Evening Meeting & AGM - 24th March 2014 - 6.00pmclick to view

The next British Dam Society's evening meeting will be held at the ICE, London on Monday 24th March 2014 at 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm. 

The meeting will start with the Annual General Meeting of the British Dam Society.

BDS Members are urged to attend the AGM in person, as the proposed changes to the constitution (already circulated to members) will be voted on at that meeting.  Unfortunately we cannot accept votes by members who are attending 'on-line' as their identities cannot be verified. If you are a paid-up BDS member and have not received your papers for the AGM please contact the Secretary, Tim Fuller, without delay.

A technical presentation by Bryan Leyland will then follow. Brian Leyland is a consulting engineer from New Zealand and his presentation will be on "Gated Spillways: are they safe enough? - The risks and the H&S obligations"

Further details of the technical presentation can be found on the event flyer here

The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be available on-line via the link shown on the Meetings Page. On-line registration begins approximately 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. 

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March 2014: Dale Dyke Memorial Plaque Unveiledclick to view

On Wednesday 12th March Ian Hope, Chair of the British Dam Society, unveiled an evocative sculpture with annotated plaque to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Dale Dyke disaster. This dam failure was the biggest disaster of its kind in our history and led to the tragic loss of at least 250 lives.

Memorial Plaque Picture 

In setting the scene Ian placed the early Victorian reservoir building programme into context with the rapid industrial expansion and dire public health needs of the day. Sheffield itself had suffered a number of well documented cholera outbreaks reinforcing the demand for safe drinking water and proper sanitation. The Dale Dyke reservoir was constructed by the Sheffield Waterworks Company following an 1853 Act of Parliament.  In stark contrast to today the Company was not regulated in this activity and was itself able to design, supervise construction and potentially operate the reservoir without independent oversight.

Immediately on completion of construction, the "300 yard long, 85 feet high" dam failed on first filling, exposing inherent weaknesses. The dam was unable to withstand the forces of the full reservoir which were further compounded by a storm event.

There is considerable conjecture as to the cause. As engineers our forensic instincts will remain frustrated! We do know that there were a number of signs we would attribute to degradation of the core by internal erosion - a "whirlpool upstream" and "cracking of the downstream face".  The dam failed during the night when appraisal under candle light would have been unlikely to shed light on the true failure mechanism.

The history of the disaster and post-event hearings brought vested interests and human behaviour into play. The scene was set for a tense and intriguing drama. Clearly Sheffield Waterworks Company was protective of its position and commendably did stand by its employees, principally the Chief Engineer, John Gunsen.  Arguably, had the coroner been less zealous with his corrosive, opinionated, directive approach perhaps the real causes would have been laid open for analysis.

Whilst there remains scant evidence as to the true cause of the failure, we are led to question whether the pressurised pipes through the body of the dam contributed to the failure. We do know that their presence would have created an inherent threat and later designs were to avoid this feature.

Certainly Hawksley, responsible for later dam construction, adopted a far more conservative approach to the construction of neighbouring structures. He undoubtedly had a greater insight as to the cause of failure, being responsible for the demolition of the remaining Dale Dyke dam structure and able to examine key features such as the integral pipework.  He steadfastedly protected the interests of his clients and did not publically admit that the Dale Dyke dam had any defects.These days beyond the internet more information can be found in Geoffrey Binnie's book "Early dam builders in Britain" and geotechnical analysis by the late Peter Vaughan. Dr Andy Hughes, BDS Vice Chair, is conducting a series of talks on the subject (please see BDS website meetings page for further information).  

As an industry we have learnt a great deal from this and other similar tragic events in Victorian times. Our confidence in the significantly increased safety of our dams today comes from the continued vigilance employed by owners and the supervision by properly trained and qualified engineers who form the membership of the British Dam Society. The Reservoirs Act 1975 provides further structured safeguards ensuring the independence of crucial engineering roles which are also detached from direct employment of the owner. Ian Hope Chair British Dam Society.

See how the unveiling of the memorial was reported by the South Yorkshire Times here

Watch Ian Hope (British Dam Society) & Newman Booth (Yorkshire Water) explain the background behind the memorial on YouTube here. 


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March 2014: British Dam Society - Now on Twitter!click to view

The British Dam Society is now on Twitter! For all our latest news follow us on www.twitter.com @BritishDams

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March 2014: The Environment Agency website is changing click to view

The Environment Agency website is closing in April 2014. They are one of hundreds of government websites moving to www.gov.uk over the next few months. GOV.UK will make it simpler, clearer and faster to find information from government.

The following document explains the changes that are happening. Click here.


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March 2014: Environment Agency - Update to reservoir flood mapsclick to view

The Environment Agency are currently making changes to reservoir flood maps. The following statement has been issued by them regarding the changes that will be taking place.

'The Flood Risk Regulations require the Environment Agency to produce and publish reservoir flood maps, including information on the depth and velocity of flooding that would result from reservoir failure. These maps will be available on our website by the end of March.

We have prepared a briefing note for reservoir owners to tell them what is happening with the Risk of Flooding from Reservoirs map and how they will be used by us and partners.   The Reservoir Flood Maps were produced in 2008/09.  Large raised reservoirs built or completed since that date may not yet have been mapped.   Please find the briefing note attached here.'

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March 2014: Comparison of UK Reservoir Legislationclick to view

Tony Deakin (FCRM Manager) of the Environment Agency Reservoir Safety Team in Exeter has provided the attached document that compares the different legislation impacts in England, Scotland, Wales and NI.

Click here. 

This document is provided by the BDS for information purposes only. Any queries regarding its content should be directed to Tony Deakin directly (tony.deakin@environment-agency.gov.uk).

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February 2014: Wimbleball Dam - Technical Site Visit - Only 6 places leftclick to view

Wimbleball Dam Grout Curtain Project

The British Dam Society have arranged a technical site visit of the grout curtain project at Wimbleball Dam in Devon on Tuesday 11th March 2014 at 12:30pm. Only 6 places remain so book your place now!

Work is progressing to replace the grout curtain on the southern side, from within the buttresses of this 50m high concrete dam, which is located on Exmoor near Dulverton in Devon.

For more information and to book a place on this site visit please see the event flyer which can be found on the meetings page of the BDS website or click the following link here.


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December 2013: British Dam Society - Approaching Deadlinesclick to view

Approaching Deadlines 

BDS Conference: The BDS Conference in Belfast in September 2014 may seem quite some time away, but we have to prepare the papers  and have them published ready to hand to delegates as they arrive.  All this takes time - a long time!  So if you are thinking of submitting a paper for the BDS Conference in Belfast next year please can you ensure that your synopsis is submitted as soon as possible - details here (http://www.britishdams.org/2014conf/synopses.asp).  

BDS Committee: There will be a number of vacancies arising on the BDS Committee after the AGM in March 2014.  Any BDS member can stand for election to the Committee, so why not consider it?  All BDS members should have received papers inviting nominations for the Committee, to be submitted by 1 January 2014.   If you have mislaid or not received your papers please contact Tim Fuller on Tim.Fuller@ice.org.uk and he will send you a new set.

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November 2013: BDS Prize Winner - 18th Nov 2013click to view

The final of the BDS prize was held at the ICE, London on Monday 18th November 2013. The BDS Prize is a technical paper competition for engineers below 35. The four finalists presented their work in front of an audience of reservoir panel reservoirs and the results were as follows:-

Winner: 
Chris Vyse - Llyn Alaw Reservoir Post-tensioned Anchor Installation 

Second Place:
Andy Courtnadge - Worth Farm Flood Detention Reservoir - Challenges during Construction 

Third Place:
Andrew Thompson - Tube-a-manchette grouting at Upper Rivington Reservoir 
Marika Tietavainen - Scour Valve Replacement 
  
A recording of this meeting is available using the link on the BDS Meetings Page 'Listen Again' section. 

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October 2013: British Dams Society - 18th Biennial Conference - Call for papersclick to view

The 2014 BDS Conference will be held at Queen's University Belfast between Wednesday 3rd September and Saturday 6th September 2014

Details of the conference can be found on the conference website at www.britishdams.org/2014conf

The main theme of the conference will be on how to maintain the safety of existing assets and how to design-in the safety of new ones, and will cover a wide range of topics.  

SUBMISSION OF PAPERS

Papers are invited to cover the following aspects:-       

  • Legislation and statutory requirements.
  • The effect of environmental constraints and opportunities on works to dams.
  • The practical aspects of risk assessment techniques.
  • Design with whole-life safety in mind.
  • Safer construction techniques and materials.
  • Planning for emergencies
  • Lessons learnt from incidents.
  • Rehabilitation to improve safety.
  • Operational safety
  • Instrumentation and monitoring for the life of a dam
  • Mechanical and electrical components of dams
  • The influence of climate change

Authors wishing to prepare papers or short technical notes are invited to submit their synopses of not more than 250 words to Andrew Pepper, the BDS Honorary Technical Secretary, by e-mail on atpec@peppernet.org.

Information should include the provisional title of the paper, author's name, address, telephone and e-mail address. 

Receipt of your synopsis will be acknowledged. Synopses should be submitted by 9th December 2013

Authors will be informed of whether their synopsis has been accepted by 16th December 2013 

Completed papers will be required by 7th March 2014

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October 2013: BDS Photograph Competition - Deadline 15th October - Big Prizes!click to view

BDS Photograph Competition 2013

There are only 5 days to go before the closing date of this years BDS Photography Competition.

Big prizes are up for grabs. 1st prize - £200 / 2nd Prize - £100 / 3rd Prize - £50 plus it's your chance to have your photograph used on the front cover of the BDS publication 'Dams & Reservoirs'. World fame awaits!

The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday 15th October 2013

Full details can be found on the BDS website competition page here.

Good luck


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October 2013: Tonight's BDS Meeting - 7 Oct 2013click to view

This evening's (Monday 7th October) BDS meeting is:- 

Floods & Reservoir Safety 4th Ed. - An update on plans for revision

presented by Alex Macdonald & the working group

This meeting will start at 6pm at the ICE in London.

Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm.

This meeting will be streamed online. A link to the talk is available on the BDS meetings page.

Presentation Background:  

The third edition of Floods and Reservoir Safety was published by ICE in 1996 and has 
served the UK reservoir profession well. In the period since publication our 
understanding of extreme rainfall events has improved, there has been a move 
towards an enhanced risk based approach to reservoir safety, predictions of wave 
overtopping have improved, and there have been legislative changes which affect 
reservoir safety throughout the UK. Defra have asked ICE to bring the publication up 
to date. To undertake this task ICE have formed a small Working Group of co-authors. 
The aim of the meeting will be to allow members of the Group to present their current 
thoughts on changes that might be required to the guide, but also, and more 
importantly, to seek the views of those attending on their experience of using the 
document and on areas where improvements or additions could be made to ensure it 
remains a key element in the profession’s toolbox into the future

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August 2013: Flood & Water Management Act 2010 - Reservoirs legislation commencement dateclick to view

23/08/13

Dear BDS Members 

As chair,  I have been working with the ICE to bring pressure to bear on Defra and the government for England to introduce the complete planned changes to the Act, i.e. 'Phase 1' as well as  'Phase 2'.

Today the ICE have released the following press release  (http://www.ice.org.uk/News-Public-Affairs/Media-and-press-centre/Reservoirs-act-delays--concerning--say-ICE-BDS

As part of the subsequent follow up I have been interviewed by the Times with today and look forward to a positive government response 

Regards,

 

Ian Hope

BSc MA CEng FICE

Supervising Engineer - Reservoirs Act 1975

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July 2013: BDS Prize - Closing date extended to 31 August 2013click to view

There is still time to submit a synopsis for the BDS Prize. The closing date for synopses has been extended to 31st August 2013.

The BDS Prize Competition for young members is held every two years and is open to BDS members under 35 years of age on the date of the competition. The next competition will take place on 18th November 2013 at the Institution of Civil Engineers. 

Participants are invited to submit papers on dam engineering relating to their experience in research, design, construction and supervision. It is not essential that papers describe original work but the authors should have had an involvement in the work. There must be only one author.  Papers should be about 2500 words in length and be capable of presentation in about 15 minutes.  The oral and visual presentation, as well as the content of papers, will be judged. 

Candidates must submit synopses of their proposed papers to Tim Fuller (Secretary, BDS) by email (Tim.Fuller@ice.org.uk) by 31st August 2013. Synopses should be about 250 words and should be accompanied by brief biographical details of the author. The authors of synopses assessed as being relevant to the competition will be invited to submit their completed papers by 30th September 2013.

The BDS are also running a 2013 Photography Competition (closing date 15th October) and a 2013 Student Competition (closing date 20th December). Fantastic prizes are available for all competitions. For full details of all competitions visit the BDS competitions page here - http://www.britishdams.org/competitions/default.asp


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July 2013: Small Raised Reservoirs - BDS Evidence to Defra & Environment Agencyclick to view

The UK is witnessing a time of change for reservoir regulation with an inconsistent approach to the regulation of reservoirs emerging across the 4 countries.

In England the government have taken an unusual step in stalling the introduction of previously planned changes by asking for further evidence. The BDS has responded to this request by assembling evidence of incidents, accidents and the risks posed by Small Raised Reservoirs.

A copy of the evidence submitted to defra and the Environment Agency can be found here.

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June 2013: Technical Site Visit - Black Esk Reservoir - Lockerbie, Scotlandclick to view

The British Dam Society have arranged a technical site visit of the Black Esk Reservoir enlargement scheme on Monday 12th August 2013 at 10.30am.

Work on the scheme, which is located near Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland, started in early 2013 is due to finish by the end of this year.

For more information and to book a place on this site visit please see the event flyer which can be found on the meetings page of the BDS website or click the following link. 

http://www.britishdams.org/meetings_events/BDS_Flyer_BlackEsk-draft2.pdf

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May 2013: Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 - Consultationclick to view

The Scottish Government have issued a consultation document discussing their proposals for the necessary secondary legislation required to commence a number of sections of The Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011.  

Responses on the consultation are required by 26 July 2013.  

The consultation document can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/04/5330

The latest proposed programme for commencement of the Act is also summarised in the consultation document.

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May 2013: BDS Evening Meeting (ICE, London) - 13th May 2013click to view

BDS Evening Meeting - 13th May 2013

The next BDS evening meeting on 13th May 2013 will be on 'An update on the implementation of the Flood & Water Management Act 2010' presented by Brian Pattern (team leader for reservoir safety planning and government liaison at the Environment Agency) and Tim Hill (Divisional Director at Mott MacDonald).  This meeting starts at 6.00pm with refreshments available at the ICE, London from 5.30pm.

More information regarding this evening meeting is available on the event flyer on the meetings page of the BDS website.

This evening meeting will be streamed online. A link to the online meeting is available on the Meetings Page of the BDS website. Online registration can only take place 45 minutes before the start of the meeting. Please allow time for registration before the event. Following registration please click 'yes' when asked if you would like to join the live chat. 


 

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April 2013: Reservoirs legislation commencement date - Updateclick to view

The BDS has received the following email from Defra regarding the Flood & Water Management Act 2010 - reservoirs legislation commencement date.

You may be aware that commencement of amendments the Reservoirs Act 1975 by Schedule 4 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 did not happen on 6 April 2013 as envisaged previously.

The new programme is to implement the Phase 1 amendments of the Reservoirs Act 1975, which will apply only to those reservoirs that are currently regulated (that is with a capacity greater than 25,000 cubic metres), by the end of June 2013.  The Statutory Instruments that have to be debated by both Houses of Parliament were laid before Parliament on 26 March 2013, which makes this programme achievable.  Commencement will be earlier if Parliamentary processes permit.  

We will advise the firm commencement date once that is fixed.

Defra

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March 2013: Supervising Engineer's Forum - Deadline Extensionclick to view

Supervising Engineer's Forum - Wednesday 17th April 2013 - Solihull, Birmingham

The British Dam Society are pleased to announce that the deadline for registration to the Supervising Engineer's Forum has been extended by 2 weeks. Over 170 people have already booked for this event to be held in the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 17th April 2013.

Bookings will now be accepted up to Friday 15th March 2013. For more details and a registration form please go to the 'Meetings & Events' Page of the BDS website.

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January 2013: Small Raised Reservoirs - Survey of incidents and Accidentsclick to view

Dear Member

The BDS would like to thank all those members who have responded to the request for infornation below.  The deadline for responses is 7th February and therefore we would like to encourage all those members who have details of incidents and accidents at small raised reservoirs to supply this information as soon as possible in order that it can be compiled and sent to Defra.

Many thanks

BDS Webmaster

Small Raised Reservoirs - Survey of incidents and Accidents

As you are aware the Flood and Water Management Act, 2010 proposes a risk based approach and also a suggestion, as recommended in the report by Sir Michael Pitt, that the threshold for reservoir capacity should change from 25,000m3 to 10,000m3 - the inclusion of what has become known as 'small raised reservoirs'.  There is now a danger that Phase II of the Act, which would bring in 'small raised reservoirs' may stall and not be commenced.

BDS has been asked to assemble evidence of incidents, accidents and the risks posed by 'small raised reservoirs' and thus we would ask that if you have any examples of incidents and accidents at 'small raised reservoirs' that you pass this information to the BDS. This information will be collated and passed onto Defra.

Basic information for each incident should be as follows: 

Example

Name of Reservoir: Banton

Location: Sheffield

Height of Dam (m): 5

Length of Dam (m): 300

Capacity (m3): 20,000

Date of Incident: 2012

Consequence of failure (description of what would be affected should the dam fail): housing and school immediately downstream

Do you wish to keep this information anonymous: Yes/No

It is important we get this information quickly to Defra to try to change their perception of the risk from ‘small raised reservoirs’.

Please send your data by the 7th February to: webmaster@britishdams.org

 

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January 2013: BDS Meeting News - 21 Jan 2013click to view

The link to follow this evening's evening lecture online has been changed as a result of technical difficulties. Please use the new link provided on the meetings page of the BDS website.

Monday night's evening meeting (21st January) at the ICE, London with be on the Banbury Flood Storage Reservoir. The lecture, starting at 5.30pm, will be presented by John Ackers & John Hopkins of Black & Veatch. 


Please note:

The ICE have started to use a new webex system to broadcast evening meetings. This will be the first use of the new system so please be patient with any problems that occur.

Each user will be required to register to gain access to the meeting using their first name, surname and email address. Access to the online meeting can only be made 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting.

 

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December 2012: Response from Mr Richard Benyon MP - 14th Nov 2012click to view


The British Dam Society Chairmain, Martin Airey, recently wrote to the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Mr Richard Benyon MP, voicing concern and frustration at what appears to be very slow progress with the changes to the Reservoirs Act 1975 which were proposed following the considered and evidenced report by Sir Michael Pitt.

Mr Richard Benyon MP replied to these concerns in a letter dated 14th November 2012. A copy of this letter can be seen here.

 

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November 2012: Monday's BDS Evening Meeting - Reminderclick to view

The next BDS meeting is this Monday 19th November at 6pm

The lecture titled Implementing the new FEH rainfall depth-duration-frequency model for reservoir flood safety assessment will be presented by Lisa Stewart and David Morris of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. 

Refeshments will be available in the ICE from 5.30pm.

The lecture will be streamed live online using the following link:- 

http://ice.adobeconnect.com/predictions/

Would online followers please log in as a guest using their full name.

 

 

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November 2012: BDS letter to Richard Benyon MP - Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheriesclick to view

The British Dam Society Chairmain, Martin Airey, recently wrote to the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Mr Richard Benyon MP, voicing concern and frustration at what appears to be very slow progress with the changes to the Reservoirs Act 1975 which were proposed following the considered and evidenced report by Sir Michael Pitt.

A copy of this letter is available here.

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October 2012: BDS Technical Site Visit - Next Week - 10th October 2012click to view

United Utilities & Askham Construction will be leading a tecnical site visit to New Years Bridge Reservoir on Wednesday 10th October 2012. The site visit starts with refreshments at 12 noon and places are limited so please contact Ian Scholefield to book a place (Ian.scholefield@uuplc.co.uk) or 07765236708.

More details of this technical site visit can be found on the meetings page of the BDS website.

New Years Bridge Reservoir is located in Denshaw approximately 10km NE of Manchester.

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July 2012: Study tour to the Thames Barrier & several hydroelectric schemes in Scotlandclick to view

London & Scotland Study Tour: 19-25 May 2013
 
As a result of a number of requests the British Dam Society is organising a study tour which will visit a number of hydro schemes in Scotland and the Thames Barrier. The trip, which is all inclusive, seeks to visit some very interesting civil engineering structures whilst also visiting some very scenic areas of the UK. Further details of the trip and a preliminary programme can be found on the attached information sheet.
 
Those interested in joining the study tour should contact Dr Andy Hughes (01372 756287) or Mrs Barbara Sharp (01372 756838) by 1st October 2012. The dates of this study tour may be subject to change so not to coincide with possible ICOLD events. Please note that the trip will only run with a minimum number of 30 people. 
 

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July 2012: BDS Conference - September 2012 click to view

Registration for the 17th Biennial BDS Conference has now closed.
 
The Conference will be held at the University of Leeds between 12th - 15th September 2012.
 
For further details of the venue, technical site visits and the finalised technical programme please visit the Leeds 2012 conference website:-
 
 

Details of how delegates can view the conference proceedings prior to the start of the conference will be published shortly.

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April 2012: The Engineering Geology of Dams - Geological Society call for papers.click to view

 
The Geological Society (http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/) is arranging an evening meeting entitled "The Engineering Geology of Dams" on 20th June 2012 at their Burlington House venue in Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BG. GeolSoc has invited BDS members to attend and to submit papers on this theme to be considered for presentation.

Currently the event is planned as an evening meeting, but if sufficient extra papers are submitted, GeolSoc may extend this to a day long seminar. The start time will be updated on the BDS website meetings and events page as soon as we are advised of the final arrangements.

Although BDS is endorsing the event, it is being organised entirely by GeolSoc, so please contact Mr David Giles of GeolSoc on 02392-842248 or dave.giles@port.ac.uk if you have any queries, or wish to submit a paper.

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March 2012: BDS Response to EA Consultation on High Risk Reservoirs in England & Walesclick to view

Recently the Environment Agency undertook an online consultation on the topic of High Risk Reservoirs in England and Wales. This consultation process finished on 23rd February 2012.
 
The BDS responded to the EA with its opinions of the proposed methodlogy. The response submitted by the BDS can be found here.
 
All responses submitted to the EA can be viewed in the consultation portal using the following link:-

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March 2012: Consultation on changes to the Reservoirs Act 1975click to view

Consultation on the Implementation of Amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975
The UK and the Welsh Governments have launched their consultation on the proposed contents and timetable for the secondary legislation for implementing the amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975. The consultation can be accessed from the Defra website either through the direct link http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2012/02/23/reservoir-safety/
The consultation can also be found on the Welsh Government website through http://www.wales.gov.uk/
 
The consultation expires on 17 May 2012 and seeks views against specific questions under the following headings:
Large Raised Reservoirs: Capacity, Exemptions & Registration
Monitoring, Supervision & Inspections
Construction, Alteration, Abandonment & Discontinuance
Flood Plans
Panels of Engineers & Engineer Reports
Appeals
Criminal Sanctions
Expenses & Charging
Other matters
 

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February 2012: EA Consultation on High Risk Reservoirs in England and Walesclick to view

BDS Members are reminded that you have until Midnight on 23rd February 2012 to register your opinions on the EA Consultation on High Risk Reservoirs in England and Wales.
 
Please carefully read the Environment Agency’s consultation documents and comment on-line by going to:-
 
 
To date only 66 people have responded to the consultation using the on-line facility. The BDS urges all members to take part in this consultation, as changes in the way reservoirs are managed could have very significant effect on all members.
 
The EA are currently having a technical issue regarding their e-consultation tool that might affect you.
 
If you’re on Windows7 or Windows XP and use web browsers Google Chrome or Internet Explorer 9, you will be unable to access the e-consultation pages including the ‘High risk’ reservoir consultation.
 
At present, you can only access the e-tool through Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox (version 9 or below). Please use one of these methods to access the consultation.
 
If you’re unable to use one of the above methods to access the consultation please e-mail the EA at reservoirriskconsultation@environment-agency.gov.uk and they will provide you with an electronic copy of the consultation along with a response form.
 
Background Information
On Monday 23 January BDS hosted an evening meeting titled 'Reservoir Risk Classification' which as well as explaining options for risk classification provoked a long and lively debate - both from the lecture theatre and the 90 people listening on-line.
 
If you wish to 'listen again' to this meeting you can do so by selecting the 'listen again' function on the left hand side of the meetings page.
 

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November 2011: Lessons from historical dam incidentsclick to view

New research published on lessons from historical dam incidents

The Environment Agency has recently published the research report on 'Lessons from historical dam incidents'. This is now available on the Agency's website:

 
The report was prepared for the Agency by Halcrow Group Ltd working in collaboration with Dr Andrew Charles and Dr Paul Tedd of the Building Research Establishment. It provides a useful reference of key facts and points of learning from more than 100 incidents that have shaped reservoir safety legislation, design practices and construction methods.

This report aims to provide a useful reference for all those involved in reservoir safety including technicians, engineers and managers involved in the operation, monitoring and surveillance of dams, researchers, and design engineers. It is likely to be viewed as an essential reference for aspiring and current panel engineers.

The focus of the report is on incidents at dams that have occurred in Great Britain but some reference is made to some important international incidents. Drawing from international experience is particularly helpful for those types of dam not commonly found in Great Britain.

The introductory section covers the national incident database and the value of post-incident reporting and investigations. Section 2 gives a historical overview which shows how serious incidents have improved our understanding of dam behaviour and the hazards posed by dams. Section 3 shows the close links between historical incidents and failures and the development of reservoir safety legislation and guidance. Section 4 looks at how incidents have been managed, including the role of owners and panel engineers. The significance of drawdown rates and other provisions for dam incidents such as evacuation planning are presented. Four examples of incident management are described: the incidents at Ogston, Rivington Upper, Ulley and Maich Water.

Section 5 represents the major part of research output. It provides an overview of serious incidents and a classification and brief analysis of the modes of failure. This is followed by descriptions of over thirty major incidents and summaries of seventy other incidents. Photographs and drawings have been provided where possible, together with references to the technical papers and articles for additional information. The incidents have been grouped according to the type of incident or mode of failure to facilitate the use of the report as a look-up reference for specific types of reservoir safety problems.

The ability of the reservoir industry to gather and disseminate points of learning on dam incidents is only possible through the willingness of dam owners, operators and engineers to share information in an open manner. The Agency continues to administer the national post-incident reporting database and to gather information on incidents. Incidents can be reported to the Agency's reservoir safety team in Exeter (reservoirs@environment-agency.gov.uk, tel: 01392 442001). Live incidents should be reported to the incident hotline on 0800 807060. An annual report is published on the Agency website and the latest report can be found at:

 

Alan Warren, Halcrow Group Ltd

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November 2011: Next Regional Meeting - UMIST, Manchester - 24th November 2011click to view

Later this week Dr Andy Hughes will be speaking at UMIST, Manchester on the 'Design and Construction of a Labyrinth Weir'
 
Date: Thursday 24th November 2011
 
Time: 18:30
 
More details of this regional meeting can be found on the BDS meeting page. http://www.britishdams.org/meetings.asp
 

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October 2011: 2012 BDS Conference - Call for technical papersclick to view

The 2012 BDS Conference will be held at the University of Leeds between Wednesday 12th September and Saturday 15th September 2012. Full details of the conference can be found on the conference website www.britishdams.org/2012conf

The main theme of the conference will be on the social and environmental benefits and impacts of dams and reservoirs in the UK and abroad, with a focus towards: the uses and benefits of water; planning and environmental legislation; and the consequences of failure, discontinuance, abandonment and scour testing.

SUBMISSION OF PAPERS

Papers are invited under the following themes:

Environmental and social impacts of reservoirs.
Lessons learnt from incidents and accidents to dams.
Emergency planning.
Risk assessment techniques in practice.
New construction techniques and materials in dam engineering.
The effects of climate change and recent flood events.
Rehabilitation case histories.
Small reservoirs in the context of new legislation.
Instrumentation and surveillance
Worldwide trends in legislation.

Authors wishing to prepare papers or short technical notes are invited to submit their synopses of not more than 250 words to Andrew Pepper, the BDS Honorary Technical Secretary, by e-mail on atpec@peppernet.org
 
Synopses should be submitted by 14th November 2011

Completed papers will be required by 12th March 2012

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June 2011: BDS Student Competitionclick to view

Open to students from universities in full-time education, YINI students and first year graduates. The first prize for this years competition is attendance at the British Dam Society conference 2012, which will be held at Leeds University in September 2012. Full details can be found on the competitions page of the BDS website. http://www.britishdams.org/competitions/default.asp
 
To enter, students will need to submit an essay on the topic 'The Benefits of Dams', by 30th November 2011.

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May 2011: European Dams Trump Game - Free to Schoolsclick to view

European Dams Trump Game - Free to Schools Image
European Dams Trump Game
 
The British Dam Society is pleased to be able to provide packs of the European Dams Trump Game free to schools.

The game is especially suitable for children and is a fun way of learning about dams and reservoirs.

Information such as the height and length of a dam, the surface area or capacity of the reservoir and its age are just some of the details that will enable the player to win the ‘trick'.

The winner will be the player who ends up with all of the cards or the most cards at the end of a set period of time.

Order you packs of cards using the following link:-
 
 
 

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April 2011: Supervising Engineers Forum 2011click to view

BDS Supervising Engineers Forum 2011

Over 200 delegates, including 26 new members, attended the Supervising Engineers Forum on 6 April. The event, which has been held very two years since 1993, comprised a full day of presentation and the ever popular panel discussion. There was also plenty of opportunity for networking in the intervals and over lunch.

This year we broke with tradition and changed the venue to the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham. Feedback about the new venue was very positive.

A full write up will appear in Dams and Reservoirs later in the year.

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November 2010: Guidance for the design and maintenance of stepped masonry spillwaysclick to view

Guidance for the design and maintenance of stepped masonry spillways Image
Following the failures of stepped masonry spillways at Boltby Reservoir (2005) and Ulley Reservoir (2007), the Environment Agency commissioned a research project to clarify the safety of such structures. This work has now completed resulting in the production of industry guidance.
 
A practical guide for use by skilled professionals has been produced to assist with hydraulic design, maintenance, inspections and the design of remedial works.  More information on this R&D project may be accessed through the BDS Members area at http://www.britishdams.org/members/research.asp

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August 2010: BDS Photography Competition 2010click to view

The deadline for the BDS Photography Competition is 1st September 2010. We already have a number of entries, but there is still time for you to submit your winning photo!

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August 2010: Pitt Review and proposals for legislative changeclick to view

Pitt Review and proposals for legislative change Image

The Pitt Review of 2008 included Chapter 19 on the Effective Management of Dams and Reservoirs.  In response to the review the Environment Agency put forward proposed changes to the Reservoirs Act 1975 to Defra.  The principal proposed change is to introduce a risk-based approach to the legislation and ensure that those currently unregulated reservoirs that constitute a significant risk are managed.

The Government has announced that it will publish a draft Floods and Water Bill in the Spring for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Bill is expected to address how the Government will implement its response to the recommendations of the Pitt Review report including issues relating to reservoirs.

Follow this link to Chapter 19 of the Pitt Review  entitled Effective Management of Dams and Reservoirs

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August 2010: Reservoir flood plans and inundation mapsclick to view

Reservoir flood plans and inundation maps Image

The Water Act 2003 amended the Reservoirs Act 1975 to include the requirement for reservoir flood plans. As part of his extensive review following the floods of 2007, Sir Michael Pitt recognised the need for inundation maps to be provided to local resilience forums.

Defra has instructed the Environment agency to produce inundation maps for all reservoirs subject to the Act by December 2009.

Follow this  link to more information on flood plans and inundation plans .   

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July 2010: The future of flood risk management in Scotlandclick to view

The future of flood risk management in Scotland Image

On 13th February 2008, the Scottish Government launched a Flooding Bill Consultation aiming to modernise the flood risk management system in Scotland. The broad objective in promoting new legislation is to provide the framework to ensure that a fully sustainable approach to flood risk management is in place across Scotland and to simplify radically the focus through which local authorities promote prevention measures.

Chapter 4 of the bill deals with reservoir safety and provides for the duties and powers given to local authorities, except those relevant to local authorities' functions as reservoir undertakers, to be transferred to one single body with responsibility for the following:-

  • Maintaining a register of reservoirs (and making this information available to the public),
  • Ensuring that the Undertaker has appointed a Supervising Engineer,
  • Ensuring that the Undertaker commissions regular inspections of the dam by an Inspecting Engineer,
  • Enforcing the Reservoirs Act 1975 by influencing, warning, cautioning and ultimately prosecuting non-compliant Undertakers,
  • Commissioning essential works required in the 'Interests of Safety' in the event of non-compliance and recouping full costs incurred from the Undertaker,
  • Producing a Biennial Report for submission to the Scottish Government,
  • Acting in an emergency if the Undertaker cannot be found or identified.

Currently, the enforcement of the Act in Scotland is the responsibility of the 32 Scottish local authorities. The biennial reports they submit indicate varying staffing and financial resource allocation to reservoir responsibilities amongst these authorities. This can be attributed partly, to geography and topography; for example Highland Council has some 125 reservoirs which fall within the ambit of the Act, whilst Glasgow City Council has only 2. However the enforcement role is considered an onerous burden which is disproportionate to the reservoirs located within many local authority areas.

The Bill does not yet specify who the single enforcement authority should be but the consultation questions on the subject of reservoir safety give an indication of the expected outcome:

  • Do you believe enforcement responsibilities under the Reservoirs Act 1975 should be transferred to a single national body?
  • If so, should it be SEPA or another as yet unidentified body?
  • Are you content with the proposals for dealing with reservoir flood maps under the provisions of the Floods Directive, or do you think that there should be a statutory duty on reservoir undertakers to prepare reservoir inundation maps and plans, similar to the duty in the 2003 Water Act for England and Wales?
  • Do agree that enforcement powers be extended and post incident reporting included as an additional requirement?

The Scottish Government are seeking responses to the consultation by 23rd April 2008 - go to http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/02/13095729/0 for the full consultation bill and online response form. 

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Submit an Article

If you have an article which you think might be of interest for posting to the BDS website Issues & News section, please email details to David Littlemore