Safety of Hydraulic Structures

Hydraulic structures for reservoirs and dams are essential for the welfare of societies. In Austria reservoirs serve for energy production and storage by hydro power, flood protection, irrigation purposes and are used to store water for snow production.
To provide the highest standard of safety for dams those have to fulfill severe criteria. These criteria are imposed on design and construction, monitoring over the entire time of operation and preventive measures are foreseen in case of an incidence or accidence.To guarantee the safety of existing dams in Austria a three-level principle is used. This includes the dam operator, the dam supervision of provinces and the federal dam supervision.

The dam operator has the responsibility to guarantee the safety of the dam. It is the operator’s responsibility to carry out the dam surveillance and if necessary, to take measures for dam maintenance to fulfil the state of the art. A dam safety engineer needs to appointed by the utility who is responsible for all technical as well as organizational matter on dam safety. To allow a 7/24 service an appropriate amount of deputy dam safety engineers need to be nominated.

The dam supervision oft he individual province (2. Level) is invited to take part in the annual inspection of the dam safety engineer and in the 5-annually dam assessment, which carried out by a subcommittee of the Austrian Dam Commission. In case of emergency the provincial dam supervision would be informed and the dam safety engineer would have to coordinate measure to be taken in accordance with the flood wave alarm plan.

The federal dam supervision (3. Level) examines the annual dam reports written by the dam safety engineer and carries out every 5-year dam safety assessments at the dam site (5-annually assessment – including visual inspections). These assessments are carried out by a subcommittee of the Austrian Dam Commission. The members are representatives of the Ministry on Agriculture, Regions and Tourism and external experts with specific knowledge and experience in Geology-Geotechnics and Dam Engineering.

The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management is active in engineering science education, in post graduate teaching as well as in national and international organizations dealing with aspects on hydraulic engineering and dam safety.

Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
Stremayrgasse 10/II
8010 Graz

Phone: +43
316 873-8361
Fax: +43 316 873-8357 Library: Mon - Thu 09:00 - 12:00 a.m.
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