November 7, 2022, Vancouver, BC, Canada – Water resources specialists at Knight Piésold Canada recently shared their technical expertise with the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) community at the 2022 CDA Annual Conference & Tradeshow and the CDA Tailings Dam Breach Analyses workshop.
Dr. Violeta Martin, specialist hydrotechnical engineer, and Nick Rong, project scientist, took part in the annual conference, which was held on October 17-19 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Dr. Martin moderated the “Climate Change – Adaptation for Dams” panel session at the conference, wherein five panelists discussed the challenges with informing practice and site-specific adaptation to climate change and the necessary steps to properly consider potential climate change on dams.
Rong shared his experience during the “Mining Dams” technical session of using global reanalysis climate data with probabilistic bias-correction methods for water management and dam safety planning at the conference.
He presented the paper, “Method for Estimating Long-Term Hydroclimatic Conditions for Tailing Dam Water Management and Dam Safety Planning," which was co-authored by Dr. Jaime Cathcart, specialist hydrotechnical engineer at Knight Piésold. It discusses the challenges of water management planning for dam safety when long-term regional data sets of climatic conditions are not always available, and how reanalysis products can help reduce the gap between what practicing professionals need and the short-term site measurements they typically have. The paper also looks at a case study use of a reanalysis product and a probability-based BC method to develop long-term climate values for a mine site with short-term climate records.
“Water management planning is crucial for dam safety,” said Rong. “Being able to more accurately estimate long-term hydroclimatic conditions for a region where regional observations are scarce can increase dam safety and facilitate mine water management planning.”
In addition to the conference, Dr. Martin, who is a co-chair of the CDA Tailings Dam Breach Working Group, presented at the two-day, virtual workshop on October 26-27, together with other members of the Working Group. The Working Group prepared the Tailings Dam Breach Analysis Technical Bulletin that the CDA published in 2021.
The workshop focused on how to use and apply the key steps outlined in the Technical Bulletin to help deepen competencies of dam safety professionals when conducting tailings dam breach analyses.
“The conference and workshop were great opportunities to discuss topics around dam safety and water management with our colleagues and peers in the dam engineering community,” said Dr. Martin. “At Knight Piésold, we continue to stay on top of best practices and technologies to support clients through safe waste and water management.”