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Dam Integrity Advisory Committee

Dam Integrity is a significant social, environmental and operational responsibility of resource sector companies. In the wake of two high-profile dam failures in Western Canada - after decades of no incidents - ACR proactively brought together industry experts - collectively with more than 200 years of dam integrity engineering experience - to do a high-level review of Alberta's dam safety system. ACR Dam Integrity Briefing Note

One of the follow-on action from the review was to retain the group of experts into a standing committee, DIAC, with the objectives of facilitating the exchange of dam integrity information and best practices, as well as considering emerging issues related to the responsible operation of resource sector dams in Alberta. DIAC Terms of Reference

In November 2015, DIAC held a two-day workshop, attended by 26 technical experts from companies, regulators and the University of Alberta. The first day was spent on case studies, including the experiences of regulators; the second day used breakout groups to explore technical topics and identify follow-up actions which can be undertaken by DIAC. Dam Integrity Workshop Summary- November, 2015

In December 2015, the University of Alberta delivered a stellar five-day short course on dam integrity related to mining operations, aimed at building up the knowledge base of mid-career dam engineers. The lecture hall was filled to capacity with 75 mid-career engineers, eager to learn from an international cast of dam engineering superstars.

Co-chaired by: Paul Cavanagh, Imperial Oil Resources and Richard Dawson, Norwest Corporation

2016 Committee Update


  • Shares generic lessons learned information which has general applicability to dam integrity in Alberta and around the world.
  • Maintains a watching brief on worldwide dam integrity incidents, issues, and trends.
  • Identifies new technologies relevant to dam integrity and, where appropriate, to facilitate joint industry or shared-cost field trials to demonstrate the utility of such technologies.
  • Facilitates discussion with Alberta and other regulators to explore issues or trends of mutual interest in these areas:
    • Define Engineer of Record and other key roles.
    • Develop and share best practices.
    • Communicate clearly about risk.
    • Support regulators to develop guidelines.

Recent outcomes:

  • Organize a two-day workshop in late 2015 attended by technical experts from industry, regulators, and the University of Alberta.
  • The University of Alberta delivered a five day short course in late 2015 on dam integrity related to mining operations.
  • Robust dialogue between industry experts (DIAC) and regulator experts on new dam safety regulations in Alberta.

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