International Dam Safety Conference, Kerala, India

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) participated in the International Dam Safety Conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (India) on 23-24 January 2018, with presentations made by Nick Schofield, AWP CEO, as well as representatives from Australian Partner organisations.

AWP was an official ‘knowledge partner’ for the International Dam Safety Conference, which was organised by India’s Central Water Commission (CWC), Kerala Water Resources Department (KWRD), Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NITC), and College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET). The conference was part of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, funded by the World Bank, which is focusing on rehabilitating around 225 dams in India.

The conference brought together senior Government officials, including India’s Minister of Water Resources and Secretary for the Ministry of Water Resources, with dam professionals and experts in various inter-related disciplines. During the event, participants had the opportunity discuss and share technologies and experiences which help to address a raft of dam safety issues.

Prof Schofield, who presented in the opening session, said that the AWP was pleased to be invited and thanked the organisers for the opportunity to share Australia’s expertise.

“Australia has done a lot of work recently on revising dam safety guidelines in line with climate change,” said Schofield.

“Our partners have a great deal of expertise in this space, and we are committed to assisting India in addressing its dam safety and wider water management challenges.”

AWP Partners gave a range of presentations sharing Australian perspectives on three of the core conference themes.

On the topic of ‘Uncertainties and risk management in dams’, Dr Dasarath Jayasuriya, General Manager, Public Safety for Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, gave a presentation on managing risks to public safety through flood and short-range forecasts.

The second conference theme was ‘Dam safety practices’, and Mr Peter Hill, Principal Hydrologist and Director at Hydrology and Risk Consulting, gave insights on recent advances in the application of quantitative risk assessments for dam safety.

Finally, Mr Daniel Berry, Manager Water System Operations at WaterNSW, spoke on a WaterNSW case study in flood mitigation at major dams in New South Wales. This gave an Australian perspective on the importance of integrated flood management for dams.

Mr Vijay Kumar, AWP’s representative in South Asia, organised meetings between the Australian delegation and senior Indian and World Bank water officials, resulting in the acceleration of existing projects under the National Hydrology Project.

Image source: Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP), New Delhi

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