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ICOLD Forum: General approach to dam surveillance

To aid dam owners and managers, the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) offers a technical bulletin specifying a general approach to dam surveillance. Bulletin 138, Surveillance: Basic Elements in a "Dam Safety" Process, was prepared by the ICOLD Technical Committee on Dam Surveillance. This committee is made up of 26 members from 26 countries. Bernard Goguel, chairman of the committee, was the lead author of the bulletin.

The purpose of this bulletin is to illustrate how dam surveillance can be used to manage the risks associated with poor performance or failure of a dam and reduce the probability of this occurrence. Dam surveillance covers a series of complementary and redundant activities, including visual inspections, dam documentation management, manual and automated monitoring, equipment checking and testing, and dam condition and behavior assessment.

The 46-page bulletin addresses the basic elements of surveillance, the complementary and redundant activities involved in surveillance for dam safety, principles and rules of surveillance, and monitoring linked to metrology.

To order this bulletin for 30 euros (US$43), visit and click on Publications, then Bulletins.

ICOLD plans to publish a second, more detailed bulletin, entitled Surveillance Guide. This bulletin will update and complete previous ICOLD bulletins, including 60 and 68.

— ICOLD is a nongovernmental organization that provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering. To learn more about ICOLD activities, contact Michel De Vivo, Secretary-General, ICOLD, 61 avenue Kleber, Paris 75116 France; (33) 1-47041780; E-mail:

IEEE working on greenhouse gas credits standard

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) is working on a standard designed to help owners of hydro and wind project calculate greenhouse gas emissions credits.

The standard is IEEE P1595, "Standard for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emission Credits from Small Hydro and Wind Power Projects, and for Grid Baseline Conditions." The standard is intended to establish an internationally acceptable basis for measuring, evaluating, and quantifying the eligible, real, measurable, verifiable, and unique reduction in carbon dioxide emissions attributable to small hydro and wind, says Karen McCabe, marketing director for the IEEE Standards Association.

The standard also will help provide an answer to the question: How can one country or jurisdiction to a greenhouse gas emissions trade be assured and satisfied that it is getting real and true value for a purchased greenhouse gas emissions credit from another country or jurisdiction?

As its seed documents, the standard will use project protocols established by Natural Resources Canada for small hydro, wind power, and grid baseline, McCabe says.

The Energy Development and Power Generation committee of the IEEE Power & Energy Society is developing this standard.

IEC offers online access to replaced, withdrawn standards

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) offers online access to previous editions of its standards that have been replaced or withdrawn. Consulting previous editions of standards may be essential for those who deal with rapidly evolving technologies, IEC says.

Past editions of standards can be used to track the history of a specific product, IEC says. For example, non-rechargeable alkaline batteries have been on the market since the mid-1950s. In 1957, IEC released its first series of standards on primary cells and batteries. More than 50 years later, alkaline batteries are still marketed throughout the world, and this series of standards is still revised on a regular basis.

This resource, on the Internet at, contains nearly all the publications issued since the creation of IEC in 1906. More than 8,000 replaced or withdrawn IEC publications can be found and purchased online.

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