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Knight Piésold Shares Insights at ICOLD 2017

August 1, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada – Knight Piésold had a strong presence at the 85th Annual Meeting of International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD). Dam engineering specialists from our Vancouver and Rivonia offices connected and shared insights with international colleagues, from contributing technical papers to participating in Technical Committees.  

The Czech National Committee on Large Dams hosted this year’s ICOLD annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, on July 3-7, bringing together leaders from around the world to exchange best practices in dam engineering, construction, and operation. The symposium focused on “knowledge based dam engineering” and Technical Committee meetings addressed current issues related to water resource and tailings storage development and management, contributing to ICOLD’s governing long-term mission: “better dams for a better world.”

Knight Piésold’s specialists were involved in:

  1. Leon Furstenburg, director, attended the conference and represented South Africa on the Technical Committee on Integrated Operation of Hydropower Stations and Reservoirs. Leon is an active member of ICOLD for the past 10 years and is assisting in developing relevant technical bulletins published by this organization.
  2. Duncan Grant-Stuart, technical consultant, attended the conference and represented South Africa on the Technical Committee on Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons for the past five years, during which time the Committee has been drafting a new technical bulletin for tailings practitioners. The bulletin titled “Tailings Dam Design – Technology Update” will act as a reference guideline on developments and trends in the design, operation, and closure of tailings dams. The bulletin has undergone numerous preliminary drafts and updates, and is now nearly finalized and ready to be published by ICOLD.
  3. Violeta Martin, specialist hydrotechnical engineer, presented the paper titled “Challenges with Conducting Tailings Dam Breach Assessments” by V.Martin and A.Akkerman. This paper reviewed recent experience with tailings dam breach assessments and discussed challenges encountered and lessons learned for various case studies. Violeta also participated in the meeting of the Technical Committee on Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons, and provided a status update on the Canadian Dam Association’s working group activities related to the development of guidelines for tailings dam breach assessments.
  4. Craig Nistor, specialist geoscientist, presented a poster on the paper titled “Site C Hydroelectric Project: Predicted Changes in Peace River Morphology and Sediment Transport” by C.Nistor and V.Martin. This paper discussed the geomorphology and sediment transport study completed for the project’s environmental impact statement. As a fluvial geomorphologist, Craig has extensive experience in the assessment of environmental impacts related to sediment transport, which is a topic of growing interest within ICOLD. Craig also attended the meeting of the Technical Committee on Sedimentation of Reservoirs.
  5. A paper authored by A.Adams, D.Friedman, K.Brouwer, and S.Davidson titled “Tailings Impoundment Stabilization to Mitigate Mudrush Risk” will be published in the symposium proceedings. This paper presented a case study on mitigating the risk of a sudden mudrush breach at a historical tailings impoundment.
  6. The participants also attended technical tours to various hydropower dams, as well as to the decommissioned Dolni Rožinka Uranium Mine, where the tailings dam now serves as a site for a solar energy farm.
  7. The participants also attended workshops related to dam safety, climate change and resilience, and internal erosion in dams and their foundations.

In addition to the ICOLD annual meeting, Knight Piésold’s specialists are actively involved with ICOLD’s National Committees, including the CDA and the South African Committee on Large Dams. Violeta is a member of the CDA Tailings Dam Breach Working Group and will present an update on a draft guideline on tailings dam breach assessments in a workshop at this year’s CDA Annual Conference & Exhibition on October 14-19 in Kelowna, BC, Canada.