Partner Seminars2019-06-04T23:34:06+00:00

Partner Seminars

Friday, June 14

Workshops will be presented on Friday, June 14, 2019, in collaboration with partner organizations and companies.


9:00 – 10:30 

The story of Canada’s hydro development dates back to the late 19th Century, and while it played an important role in the country’s economic growth it is acknowledged now that these projects impacted Indigenous communities. Looking forward from this history, meaningful engagement between utilities and communities are redefining how projects are undertaken.

The workshop will discuss processes of meaningful consultation and inclusion that have been applied to build relationships and achieve outcomes that more broadly share the benefits in a collaborative and equitable manner – covering development projects, procurement practices and capacity building with Indigenous communities.

9:00 – 12:30

Internal erosion is a major cause of embankment dam failures and incidents. ICOLD Bulletin 164 on internal erosion in existing dams, dikes and levees and their foundations provides practical guidance on dealing with the threat of internal erosion in existing water-retaining embankments. Presentations in this workshop will cover the four modes of internal erosion as well as applications of Bulletin 164 to explain incidents and target remediation. Case studies and the latest research will be presented by prominent international practitioners, researchers and academics.

This workshop is aimed at dam engineers and technical specialists, regulators and dam owners involved in the design, construction and operation of dams, levees and tailings dams. Participants will gain improved understanding of internal erosion mechanics and how to make engineering assessments to limit  the risks related to this phenomenon.

Dam safety management technology is increasingly important due to global climate change and the aging of existing dams, together with unprecedented radical technological changes in industry. The technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution encompass AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), ROV (Remotely Operating Vehicle), AR/VR/MR (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality), Cloud, Drones, and Big data. This seminar will address emerging intelligence technologies that may be adaptable for dam safety management. Participants will develop ideas on how to improve efficiency and productivity through data visualization, intuitive understanding, data synchronization, and extracting value and knowledge from information.

Labyrinth and piano key weirs are a particularly efficient approach to improve dam spillway capacity and reliability and therefore general dam safety.
These weirs provide a crest length greater than the width of the channel and are commonly used in a variety of applications, including dam rehabilitation and new dam projects.

Because of their hydraulic performance and site-adaptive geometries, these types of weirs are of increasing interest to those involved in water infrastructure, including practitioners, researchers, regulators, and owners. However, these types of weirs have complex geometries and hydraulic behaviors and can pose a challenge when developing an efficient design.

The workshop – organized by experts from research and practice – will cover all relevant stages of a labyrinth and a piano key weir project, from the first theoretical design to detailed studies and practical considerations related to the construction. Several real examples in France and the USA will illustrate the technical presentations and time will be devoted to Q/A and discussion

Tailings dam safety and sustainability requires comprehensive governance and operating systems. MAC will present recent updates to the Tailings Guide and the Operations, Maintenance & Surveillance (OMS) Guide. The seminar will also present systems for risk assessment, risk management and development of critical controls for identification and monitoring of the main dam failure modes.

11:00 – 12:30 

Repurposing existing dams to develop hydropower opportunities can be a cost effective means to add value to infrastructure. Community based hydropower projects can strengthen local economies, create low-carbon options and build resiliency in supplying a reliable source of electricity.

The Ontario Waterpower Association has been assisting communities to make the right choices in repurposing existing dams for hydropower. The workshop will present decision-making tools and community based guidance on small waterpower developments.

Only a minor portion of the conditions adversely affecting the grouted rock foundations of a planned dam or dike are detected in the design stage. The unfavourable characteristics and details in the foundations of a dam, such as faults, shear zones, open joints or unfavourable bedrock geometry only appear during construction. These unfavourable foundation features are very significant safety risks for the work, and how they are dealt with must be very carefully thought out and implemented.

Remodelling, treatment and sealing work of grouted rock foundations can be onerous and lengthy. In this workshop, a review is done of the main criteria for treating foundations adopted at Hydro-Québec for embankment dams, with emphasis on the analysis of cases where practical, creative solutions have been adopted to minimize the scope and costs for foundation treatments in strict compliance with the applicable criteria.

13:30 – 16:00

The workshop would include presentations and discussion on the following topics:

  • Worker health and safety;
  • The benefits of training for specific technical tasks; could include training for the site lab and field inspections;
  • Quality control and Quality Assurance;
  • Adapting to field conditions; and
  • The importance of comprehensive As-Built reports and documentation.

Regulatory practices with regards to dams vary widely around the globe, they are unified in their objective to meet societal expectations for safety throughout the dam’s life cycle of design, construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning.

The Workshop will outline the regulatory framework applied under the various legal constructs experienced internationally to regulate both conventional water retaining dams and tailings structures, as well as highlight practices from across Canada. Included in the discussion will be the application of the CDA Dam Safety Guidelines as a supplement to regulatory practices in Canada – and how these have worked effectively to support sound dam safety management practices.

Dams, reservoirs and water resources systems largely contribute to human well-being. However, their design and operations under climate change conditions remain questionable. In order to identify the potential initiatives that the dam, reservoir and water resources systems owners and operators may undertake to cope with this important issue, it is essential to determine the current state of knowledge of the impacts of climate change on hydrological variables at regional and local scales and to rely on best practices and tools to improve our resilience to evolving climate conditions.

This session will showcase some initiatives undertaken to identify potential impacts of climate change on water resources and useful tools tailored to assist decision makers in identifying sound adaptation solutions to become more resilient.

Advanced research on tailings is being carried out at numerous universities around the world. The research includes, for example: static liquefaction, aging and geochemical changes of tailings, CPT and site investigation techniques, dam break predictions, geomembranes, co-mingling, etc. This seminar will seek to compile a worldwide reference of current tailings research and discuss opportunities for collaboration and identification of future research possibilities. Speakers will present some of the key research initiatives currently in progress.

The workshop will focus on the use of physical models and numerical (3D) models in the design and assessment of hydraulic conditions for hydroelectric and hydraulic structures.

  • Advantages of each type of model.
  • Combined use of numerical and physical models.
  • Review of numerical and physical modelling on recent projects