Theme 1 - Hydrology and Hydraulics

Reservoir safety research advisory group (ReSRAG)

Research Theme: Hydrology and Hydraulics

ReSRAG Theme Lead: Thomas Kjeldsen; Support: Manousos Valyrakis, Daniel Thompson


Relevant ICOLD committees and UK representatives

Committee C: Hydraulics for Dams – Victor Pavlov

Committee H: Dam Safety – Andy Hughes

Committee S: Flood evaluation and dam safety – Alan Warren

Committee Y: Climate change – Steven Usher 

Key UK guidance documents
  • Blockage management guide – Environment Agency (2019). Report SC110005/R1
  • Floods and reservoir safety: 4th edition. Institution of Civil Engineers (2015). ICE Publishing, 80pp
  • Guidance for the design and maintenance of stepped masonry spillways - Environment Agency (2010) 
  • Flood estimation handbook, CEH (1999) 
UK papers Refer to the BDS bibliography for all reservoir-related technical papers
Key ICOLD bulletins

B182 – Sediment management in reservoirs (pre-print)

B178 – Operation of hydraulic structures for dams (pre-print)

B176 – Blockage of spillways and outlet works (pre-print)

B172 - Technological advancements in spillway design - progress and innovations from 1985 – 2015 (pre-print)

B170 – Flood evaluation and dam safety (2018)

B169 – Global Climate Change, Dams, Reservoirs and related Water Resources (pre-print)

B162 – The Interaction of Hydraulic Processes and Reservoirs (pre-print)

B156 – Integrated flood risk management (2014)

B147 – Sedimentation and sustainable use of reservoirs and river systems 

B142 - Bulletin on safe passage of extreme floods (2012)

B140 - Sediment transport and deposition in reservoirs- Mathematical Modelling (pre-print) 

B131 – Role of dams in flood mitigation – a review (2006)

B125 – Dams and floods – guidelines and case histories (2003)

B082 – Selection of design flood – current methods (1992)

B081 – Spillways: shockwaves and air entrainment (1992)

B067 – Sedimentation control of reservoirs – guidelines (1988)

B058 – Spillways for dams (1987)

B049 – Operation of hydraulic structures of dams (1986)

B048 – River control during dam construction (1986)

Relevant BDS evening meetings 
  • Butterley impounding reservoir spillway improvement works (2017)
  • Flood storage reservoirs – 40 years of lessons learned (2015)
  • Floods and reservoir safety 4th ed. – an update on plans for revision (2013)
  • FEH rainfall DDF model for reservoir safety (2013)
  • Waves and wave overtopping on reservoir structures (2011)
  • Spillway improvement works for Yorkshire Water (2010)
Current UK research

Defra/EA are preparing to commission new research on the estimation of extreme flood estimation in the UK. This work will be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 is likely to be completed in 2021. The development of new national guidelines for estimating PMP and PMF (Phase 2) will follow and is likely to take 1 – 2 years to complete. 

Following the government review of the 2019 incident at Toddbrook reservoir, new research on the inspection and evaluation of spillway structures is planned.

Recent and current international research Work is being finalised on the ICOLD bulletin “Flood evaluation, hazard determination and risk management”. This will include chapters on the role of flood volume in risk assessment, stochastic applications to hazard determination and flood risk management. Committee S is also working on a new bulletin (untitled) on flood risk methods.
Key international publications and guides For additional references, refer to ICOLD bulletins.