What is BDS?

The British Dam Society (BDS) is an Associated Society of the Institution of Civil Engineers. It consists of individual and corporate members. It is open to anyone wanting to share experience or knowledge of all aspects of dams and reservoirs.


BDS Movie – A Career in Dam Engineering

BDS News

POSTPONED: BDS Prize Evening

The BDS Young Professionals Prize evening, scheduled for 22nd November 2021, has been postponed until our January 2022 meeting due to insufficient entries into this competition. In light of this we are extending the deadline for receiving synopsis until 31st October 2021. Please can we encourage you and your colleagues (Under 35) to submit a 250 word synopsis by the extended deadline. Prizes for this competition are £500, £250 and £100.

Opportunities for representation on ICOLD Technical Committees

We invite all members to apply to represent the interests of the BDS on a number of ICOLD Technical Committees (TC). The Job Description for our representatives can be found here. We are seeking candidates to take up the role from 1st January 2022 and require applications to be made by 15th October 2021 in writing to Andrew Thompson (Honourable Technical Secretary) at Existing representatives (as applicable) can apply for a mandate to extend their role by up to three years. New representatives will receive a mandate for up to six years...

ICOLD Newsletter

ICOLD have published their latest newsletter (No.19). A copy of the newsletter can be found here.

ICOLD Circular Letter No. 1980

Some important dates regarding ICOLD activities for the remainder of 2021 are included in ICOLD Circular Letter No.1980.

10th International Conference on Scour and Erosion

Registration is now open for the 10th International Conference on Scour and Erosion. This conference will now be a virtual event held from 18th to 21st October 2021.

BDS 15th Supervising Engineers’ Forum

Registration for the Supervising Engineers’ Forum is now open. We are pleased to inform you that the forum will be an in-person event at the University of Nottingham on Thursday 16th September 2021.


Information regarding the event,  provisional programme and COVID-19 precautions can all be found on the Events Calendar page of the BDS website.

Registration to this event can be completed on the SE Forum page of the BDS website.

BDS Young Professionals’ Competition - Now Open

The 2021 BDS Prize competition is now open. Details of the competition are available here. This competition is aimed at our under-35 group of members and offers them a chance to showcase their contributions to dam engineering through a paper. The finalists will be invited to present their paper at our evening meeting on 22nd November 2021 in London and the paper will appear in our journal. There are cash prizes for the winners. Candidates must submit a 250 word synopsis of their proposed paper by 10th September 2021.

BDS Photography Competition 2021 - Now Open

The 2021 BDS photography competition is now open. Full details can be found here. You have until 22nd September 2021 to submit your photos for the chance to win a cash prize, so please submit now and good luck. Please note that entries MUST be uploaded to the BDS website directly in accordance with the competition rules and the files will be checked to ensure the picture width is greater than 3000pixels and the file size is no larger than 6MB.

Reservoir on-site emergency flood plans

A ministerial direction to undertakers in relation to reservoir on-site flood plans for large raised reservoirs in England was published on 22nd April 2021.


Following the publication of the direction the BDS held an evening meeting on Monday 26th April 2021 titled “Emergency Planning for Reservoirs”. The first part of this meeting heard from Jan Kiernan (Defra) and Tony Deakin (Environment Agency) who explained the new requirements and what is now needed from owners and engineers. A recording of this meeting can be found in the ‘Listen Again’ page of the BDS website.

Independent Reservoir Safety Review Report

An independent review of reservoir safety legislation and its application was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2020 and was led by Professor David Balmforth.


The review report, published on 13 May 2021, provides a comprehensive assessment of the current safety regime in England. It makes recommendations for improving the safety regime and to strengthen the roles and responsibilities for the regulator, reservoir owners and engineers.

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