International Dam Safety Conference to begin in Thiruvananthapuram

India is all set to host the International Dam Safety Conference- 2018 on January 23-24 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The conference is a part of DRIP project, which aims to achieve rehabilitation of old dams in the country that may be experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency.

Jan 23, 2018 10:01 IST
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India is set to host the International Dam Safety Conference - 2018 on January 23-24 at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.

The conference would be inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the inaugural function would be presided over by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The event has been organised by the Central Water Commission in association with Kerala Water Resources Department (KWRD), Kerala State Electricity Board, National Institute of Technology Calicut and College of Engineering, Trivandrum.


The annual conference is organised under the Dam Safety Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) project, which is being run by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD & GR) in the seven states of Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.

About DRIP Project

• The project, with financial support from the World Bank, was launched in 2012 with a total financial outlay of Rs 2100 Crores.

• It aims to achieve rehabilitation of old dams in the country that may be experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency.

• The project also aims to strengthen the institutional capacity and project management in this area.

• To enable the same, the project has been engaged in bringing greater awareness on dam safety issues and finding novel solutions to address them by pooling the best technologies, knowledge and experience available around the world.

• The project consists of three main components:

- Rehabilitation of selected dams and their appurtenances

- Institutional Strengthening

- Project Management

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About Dam Safety Conferences

The hosting of the Dam Safety Conferences annually in the states associated with the DRIP project is an effort to realise the project’s aims and objectives itself.

The conference sets the platform for various dam professionals, academicians, scientists, as well as industries to assemble and deliberate on the problems associated with dam safety and share the concepts, techniques, instruments and materials available to address the design and construction of new dams and also for monitoring, surveillance, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation along with disaster mitigation measures for existing dams.

Key Highlights

• The upcoming conference is expected to witness participation from around 550 delegates from over 20 nations across the world.

• Over 140 technical papers will be presented on several aspects of dam safety including case studies.

• Besides this, about 30 national and international organisations would be showcasing their contemporary developments in technology, materials, instrumentation and their application in addressing dam safety issues at an exhibition that will be organised during the conference.

• The themes for various sessions include Sustainable Dam Safety Initiatives; Uncertainties and Risk Management in Dams; Operation, Maintenance, Rehabilitation, and Upgrading of existing dams; Dam Safety Management Practices; and Integrated Flood Management for existing dams.

• Seven dam safety guidelines and manuals developed under DRIP will also be released for implementation during the conference.

• The conference will also witness the launch of a software programme called, ‘Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA).


It is a web tool to digitise all dam-related data effectively.

It will help to document authentic asset and health information related to the large dams in the country, which will enable appropriate actions to ensure need-based rehabilitation.

It is a new stride in asset management aspect by India.


• Dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development, which have been key priorities for the Union Government since independence.

• India, in the last 70 years, has invested substantially in the critical infrastructure that is required to manage and store the limited surface water resources in reservoirs to ensure food, energy, and water securities.

• Globally, India is ranked third after China and the United States in terms of the number of large dams with a total storage capacity of about 283 billion cubic meters.

• While around 80 per cent of these large dams are more than twenty-five years old, about 213 dams are over 100 years old and hence, their design practices and safety considerations do not match with the current design standards and the prevailing safety norms.

• Hence, special efforts in the direction of rehabilitation of these old dams and ensuring their long-term structural safety are the urgent call of today.

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