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

Current Issues

June 2017: Message from the BDS Chair

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:

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 


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June 2017: BDS Young Professionals Steering Group

At the May 2017 BDS Committee meeting it was agreed to change the name of the 'Young Engineers Forum' to 'BDS-Young Professionals', (BDS-YP), as we do not wish to imply that we are limiting membership to engineers only.

A BDS-YP steering group has now been formed, comprising:

BDS-YP Chair                                           Patrick Maguire (Mott MacDonald)

BDS-YP Social Media Champion              Jeremy Fletcher (Arup)

BDS-YP Events Champion                       David Steven (Atkins)

BDS-YP Mentoring Champion                   Jordan Langbridge (Yorkshire Water)

In addition another BDS-YP member, Keith MacDonald (United Utilities), has been nominated to join the main BDS Committee to assist with organising London meetings.


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May 2017: Upcoming events - Reminder

  1. Technical Site Visit to Horncastle Flood Storage Reservoir on 15th June 2017 (event flyer here)
  2. Seepage Induced Geotechnical Instability 2 day Workshop on 31st August 2017 and 1st September 2017 (event flyer here).

For further details and to book either event, please follow the details on the event flyers linked above or on the BDS events page (link here)


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May 2017: Advertisement for UK Representative vacancies on ICOLD Technical Committees

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:

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:

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.


  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: Extension of Deadline For Submitting Abstracts to ICOLD 2018


A recent ICOLD Circular Letter has provided some guidance for National Committees including new rules for paper submissions to the combined 26th Congress & 86th ICOLD Annual Meeting in Vienna in July 2018.  These include:

  • The UK can submit a maximum of 6 papers per question (there are 4 questions – see below) and a total of 18 papers across all of the 4 questions.
  • Each National Committee has an allowance to publish 15 pages per question (not per paper) free of charge.
  • Additional pages per question will include a charge of Euros 38 per page.
  • Each paper should be a maximum of 20 pages.

In addition:

  • Subject to the caveat below, BDS will pay for any pages in excess of the 15 page question quota, regardless of how many UK papers are submitted for a question - although the UK is limited to a maximum of six papers per question, and no more than 18 in total over the four questions.
  • However, if any paper exceeds 15 pages the authors of that paper will be expected to pay for the excess pages at the rate of €38 per additional page (so a maximum of €190)


To ensure that the BDS does not incur excessive charges, please would all authors adhere to the following procedure:

Abstracts & papers need to be submitted to the BDS Technical Secretary Andrew Pepper (email: for review according to the timeline below.  This is based on the requirement for final papers to be submitted to ICOLD by 8th November 2017:

  • 16th June 2017 – Abstracts are to be submitted to the BDS Technical Secretary
  • 7th July 2017 – Authors are notified of acceptance by BDS
  • 22nd September 2017 – Final papers are submitted to BDS Technical Secretary
  • 27th October 2017 – Authors are notified of acceptance by BDS

Guidelines for the preparation of papers can be supplied by the BDS Technical Secretary upon request.

Note that acceptance of a paper by BDS does not mean it will be automatically accepted by the Congress organisers.

Questions voted for Vienna 2018 congress are:


  1. Best practice of storage design, including sediment release structures, reservoir operation and sedimentation management techniques including dredging, sediment removal and debris removal. 
  2. Sediment replenishment techniques downstream of dams for river regime and morphology restoration.
  3. Experiences with turbidity current discharge by bottom outlets and the performance of sediment by-pass tunnels.
  4. Effect of climate change on reservoir sedimentation and consequences on sustainable storage.


  1. Seismic Risk: Lessons from past earthquakes. Cost efficiency of relevant design improvements for dams.
  2. Risk from floods on embankment dams, including climate change. (Data of accidents, risk analysis, efficiency and cost of solutions.)
  3. Various risks for concrete and masonry dams, including climate change. (Data of accidents, risk analysis, specific remedies.)
  4. Non-structural drivers that increase or reduce risk. (Management, alert systems, public safety, data on accidents.)


  1. Geology of foundation (investigation, interpretation and characterization) in relation to dam type selection and dam design. 
  2. Foundation treatment: -Sealing the foundation (e.g. grouting, jet-grouting, cut-off walls, deep cut-off, etc.) -Strengthening the foundation (e.g. consolidation grouting, anchoring, concreted galleries, etc.)
  3. Instrumentation and monitoring, behaviour of foundations, including long-term performance.
  4. Problems and solutions related to soft rocks foundation and foundation on deep overburden. Reservoirs and landslides.


  1. Failure modes of levees: lessons learned, risk analysis, safety levels. 
  2. Design, construction and reinforcement of levees, problems with the original design.
  3. Governance, inspection and monitoring of levees. 
  4. Specific problems experienced and solutions for operating, maintaining and rehabilitation of thousands of “Large Dams” lower than 15m.
  5. Specific problems experienced and solutions for operating, maintaining and rehabilitation of “Small Dams” lower than 15m and storing less than 1 million m3.


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May 2017: 2017 Student Paper Competition - Now Open

This competition is open to students in full-time education under 35 years of age

Participants are invited to visit their local dam and write a short paper on their observations. Participants are encouraged to consider issues such as its use (e.g. water supply / hydropower / flood alleviation / amenity) and the importance of the reservoir to the local community. Participants may also wish to consider: construction type; approximate dimensions; key features e.g. spillway, valves, pipework, tower, tunnel; and details such as the catchment and how the reservoir is fed, and how water is released from the reservoir.

There must be only one author per paper.

1st prize: £400 plus paper published in the journal of the British Dam Society “Dams and Reservoirs”

2nd Prize: £200

3rd Prize: £100

For further details please view the Competition Flyer here.

To enter, students will need to submit their papers (between 1,000 and 1,500 words) to the BDS Secretary: 

Closing date for entries is 24th October 2017.


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May 2017: 2017 BDS PRIZE - Young Persons Paper Competition - Now Open

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

The submitted paper (2,500 words) will be on a topic of dam engineering relating to the author's experience in reservoir research, design, construction, operation, maintenance or supervision. Participants must be able to demonstrate that they have undertaken a significant role, relative to their level of experience, in the project or topic. There must be only one author per paper.

Further details on the flyer available here.

The next competition will take place on 20th November 2017 at the Institution of Civil Engineers where the following prizes will be contested.

  • First Prize - £500
  • Second Prize - £250
  • Third Prize - £100

  Key Dates

  • Synopses submission deadline – 14th August 2017
  • Completed Papers submission deadline – 9th October 2017
  • BDS Prize Competition to be held at ICE - 20th November 2017

To Enter the Competition:

Candidates must submit a 250 word synopsis of their proposed paper together with their brief biographical details to the BDS Secretary by email ( by 14th August 2017.

The authors of synopses assessed as being relevant to the competition will be invited to submit their completed papers by 9th October 2017.


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May 2017: 14th ICOLD International Benchmark Workshop on Numerical Analysis of Dams

Dear Colleagues,

The 14th ICOLD International Benchmark Workshop on Numerical Analysis of Dams is hosted by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in September 2017. We have had an overwhelming interest in the benchmark workshop, and due to this, the venue for the workshop has been updated to a larger conference venue (Hotel Birger Jarl close to KTH).

I would like to remind you that registration is made on the home page 

The design and maintenance of existing dams represent a challenge for the whole engineering community. In this context, the ICOLD Committee on "Computational Aspects of Dam Analysis and Design" has performed noteworthy contribution to the diffusion of knowledge in the specific field of numerical modelling. During its long activity, the Committee has organised 13 Benchmark-Workshops with the aim to offer dam engineers the opportunity to compare experiences in the proper use of numerical analyses.

The 14th Benchmark-Workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for engineers, researchers and operators to present and exchange their experiences on the use of numerical modelling for design, performance evaluation and safety assessment of dams. We are looking forward to an interesting and exciting program with the following themes:

  • Theme A: Cracking of a concrete arch dam due to seasonal temperature variations.
  • Theme B: Static and seismic analysis of an arch-gravity dam.
  • Theme C: Embankment dam behaviour - prediction of arching and cracking potential.
  • Theme D: Risk Analysis-assessment of reliability for concrete dams.
  • Open Theme: Topics and projects within the field of numerical analyses of dams.

We hope to meet you in Stockholm next year!

Best regards

Richard Malm (chairman of the local organising committee)


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April 2017: Reservoir Safety Research Strategy

A process of review and consultation has been used to refresh the Defra strategy for conducting research on reservoir safety. The new strategy provides recommendations for the UK reservoir community for research priorities over the next 5 or more years. The new strategy aims to help Defra, the Environment Agency and its advisers in developing detailed scoping statements for future projects and in commissioning appropriate research contracts to meet the needs of the reservoir industry and to promote good practice.

The updated Reservoir Safety Research Strategy is available via the EA website at


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April 2017: University of Bristol Student Requires Our Help

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:

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


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March 2017: Reservoir Panel Engineer Applications 2017 - Key Dates

Below are the key dates in relation to submitting Reservoir Panel Engineer Applications:

Applications for appointment or re-appointment are emailed to, cc to, and assessed for suitability by the ICE Reservoirs Committee. Applications for reappointment should be sent at least 8 months before expiry.

  • Applications submitted by 30 November 2016 will be assessed and interviewed, if applicable, during week commencing 16 January 2017.
  • Applications submitted by 03 March 2017* will be assessed and interviewed, if applicable, during week commencing 24 April 2017.
  • Applications submitted by 28 August 2017 will be assessed and interviewed, if applicable, during week commending 4 September 2017.

*If you were working to the 30 March 2017 deadline (previously advertised in error), ICE will process your application in this round if it is submitted by 30 March. 

Defra will advise on the outcome of an application in due course following the assessment process.

Further details of the Revised Supervising Engineer Application process and the required forms are available in the October 2016 article "Changes to the Supervising Panel Engineer Application Process" below.


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March 2017: ICOLD Annual Meetings 2017 and 2018

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: Professor Paul Adrian Auchmuty Back CBE FREng FICE 1930 - 2017

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: Condition Assessment of Dams - Case Studies for Nottingham Trent University

Roland Kromanis is a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University who is delivering a new MSc module in Structural Engineering - Condition Assessment and Health monitoring of civil infrastructure.

He has realised that water supply reservoirs are critical national assets and he has therefore included the importance of the condition assessment of dams (including embankment dams) in the module.

He would appreciate good case studies of dam condition assessment and monitoring to use as examples for his students.  Does any BDS member have any condition assessment or monitoring cases studies of dams they could share with him?

Furthermore, part of the coursework focuses on data interpretation, so if anyone has data which needs to be analysed, he suggests it could be given to the students as a project, which may provide you with useful feedback.

If you can offer any help for this course, which could well arouse an interest in dams from some of the students, please contact Roland direct on 


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

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 2017

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: BDS Announces Sponsorship of Four Arkwright Scholars

As part of the BDS Strategy to promote Dams and Reservoir Engineering and support the new generation of Reservoir Engineers, the BDS is proud to announce its work with the Arkwright Scholarship Trust (see previous news feed for further details).

The BDS has sponsored four Arkwright Scholars whilst they study for their A Levels, further details are available here.


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January 2017: Young Engineers Forum - Mentoring Scheme

On behalf of the Young Engineers Forum (YEF) I would like to thank the individuals who came forward at the BDS Conference in September 2016 to be mentors. We are currently still working on how to best implement the mentoring system and hope to send out further information soon as things develop. Education and Knowledge are two of the core elements of the BDS strategy and it is hoped that the YEF mentoring will work to improve knowledge transfer in the BDS community.

If you are a member of the Supervising Engineer or All Reservoir Panel and could give a small amount of your time to act as a mentor to a young engineer (under 35) who is aspiring to join the Supervising Engineers Panel over the next few years, then it would be greatly appreciated. We understand that there are many companies that have internal mentoring schemes and it would be good to hear about these and learn from any successes.

Also if you are a Young Engineer who would be willing to mentor an A level student as part of the Arkwright scholarship scheme, the BDS have become part of, now or in the future we would like to hear from you. Some information about the Arkwright Scholarships Trust can be seen below and further information is available. This is a great opportunity to increase your mentoring skills and inspire future engineers.

'For 25 years, the Arkwright Scholarships Trust has identified and nurtured future leaders in engineering and technical design. Arkwright's Engineering Scholarships support high-calibre, engineering-minded school students over two years, as they study for their A levels or Scottish Highers. Every Scholarship is sponsored and supported by a sponsoring organisation. This year, The British Dam Society is supporting four Arkwright Scholars with an interest in the built environment and environmental engineering.' 

For more information about the YEF please contact the YEF Chairperson Sam Tudor (

To register as a mentor or a Young Engineer who would like a mentor please email:


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January 2017: BDS Supporting the next generation of Engineers

As part of the BDS Strategy to promote Engineering and support the new generation of Reservoir Engineers, the BDS is proud to announce it is working with the Arkwright Scholarship Trust.

The Arkwright Scholarship Trust identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in Engineering, Computing and technical design, by awarding scholarships to high-calibre students who apply when in year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) or Year 12 (Northern Ireland).

The Engineering Scholarships support students through their A Levels or Scottish Advanced Highers and encourage students to pursue Engineering, Computing or technical Design at university or through a higher-level apprenticeship and to pursue careers in the field.

Every Scholarship is sponsored by an industrial company, university, charitable trust, trade association, professional institution, armed service, worshipful company, industry regulator or personal donor.

Find out more about The Arkwright Scholarship Trust by clicking the link here.


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January 2017: Reservoir Safety Post Incident Report 2015

The Environment Agency (EA) collect and record information on incidents at raised reservoirs, both large and small. Large raised reservoirs in England are those covered by the Reservoirs Act 1975.

The EA use this information to:

  • Investigate incidents (where appropriate)
  • Inform the reservoir industry of any trends and key lessons identified
  • Contribute to research into reservoir safety and incident frequency analysis.
  • All incident data is entered onto the national database, which can be used to inform reservoir safety research.

The published 2015 report is available here:

or, the following link opens the EA Reservoir Safety post incident report webpage that contains further details and all the recently published reports:

The EA have advised that their records show there has only been a very limited number of downloads carried out for the 2014 report. In future the .GOV domain is likely to remove data that is not receiving sufficient 'hits' so they cannot guarantee the documents will remain available via the links listed above.


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December 2016: Results of the BDS Photo Competition 2016

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: New Guidance published - Design, Operation and Adaptation of Reservoirs for Flood Storage

This report provides a comprehensive guide on the development and use of flood storage reservoirs, drawing on good practice in UK and international reservoir planning, design, operation and maintenance.

The guidance is aimed at a wide range of stakeholders including planners, developers, reservoir owners, asset managers, designers, contractors, regulatory engineers / advisers, environmentalists, academic institutions and the public.

Where use is made of flood storage reservoirs, application of the guidance will help to achieve long-term improvement in flood risk management and so help protect human life, property, critical infrastructure and the environment.

The guidance describes contemporary best practice and experience of the design, operation and maintenance of flood storage reservoirs. Existing reservoirs formed originally to secure reliable water supply or to provide some other function can be adapted to provide a flood storage function.

The report covers practical considerations when modifying the use of existing reservoirs for flood storage, but does not consider policy aspects. Case studies and images are used to illustrate best practice and to share practical knowledge from past and existing schemes - their successes, failures and challenges.

Where available, the report references more detailed guidance - drawing on international practices and UK strategy documents, codes, standards and engineering guides.

The report is presented in 6 sections, together with a supporting appendix of more detailed technical information. Text is arranged to guide readers to the sections most relevant to their interests.

The contents include:

  • Planning and preliminary design - describes the typical steps required to develop preliminary design proposals and presents planning and environmental legal considerations,
  • Detailed design - considers design standards, new dams and the modification of existing flood storage dams, landscape and environmental design,
  • Operation and maintenance – describes the requirements for typical structures and devices used in flood storage reservoirs and presents guidance on improving operational reliability and effective monitoring,
  • Adaptation of existing reservoirs for flood storage - gives examples of dual-use reservoir operation, explains the benefits and challenges of adaptation to flood storage and considers the use of obsolete water supply reservoirs for flood risk management,
  • The guidance also contains advice on health and safety management from design to operation and maintenance.

An electronic copy of the guide is freely available from the following link:


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November 2016: 19th Biennial BDS Conference - Accolades

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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October 2016: Changes to the Supervising Panel Engineer Application Process

From 1st October 2016 the Supervising Engineer Panel application process is changing with the provision of dedicated application forms, for new and reappointment applicants, and an attribute based assessment system to appraise candidate suitability.

Please find below links to the new documents.

New Application Documents:

  1. Attributes for Supervising Engineer,
  2. Guidance for those Seeking Appointment to the Supervising Engineer Panel,
  3. RC01 Supervising Engineers Panel – Application for New Appointment,
  4. RC01G Supervising Engineers Panel – Application for New Appointment Guidance,
  5. RC02 Reservoirs Experience Front Page,
  6. RC02 Reservoirs Experience Extra Pages.


Reapplication Documents:

  1. Attributes for Supervising Engineer,
  2. Guidance for those Seeking Appointment to the Supervising Engineer Panel,
  3. RC05 Supervising Engineers Panel – Application for Reappointment,
  4. RC05G Supervising Engineers Panel – Application for Reappointment Guidance,
  5. RC06 Reservoirs Experience Front Page,
  6. RC06 Reservoirs Experience Extra Pages.


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September 2016: Reservoir Safety Action Group - Research and Development Update

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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