The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD www.icold-cigb.org) is a non-governmental International Organization, which provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering. The organization leads the profession in ensuring that dams are built safely, efficiently, economically, and without detrimental effects on the social and natural environment.
ICOLD was founded in 1928 and has National Committees from 95 countries with approximately 10 000 individual members who are practising engineers, geologists and scientists from governmental and private organizations, consulting firms, universities, laboratories and construction companies.
ICOLD's original aim was to encourage advances in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of large dams and their associated civil works, by collecting and disseminating relevant information and by studying related technical questions.
Since the late sixties, focus was placed on subjects of current concern such as dam safety, monitoring of performance, re-analysis of older dams and spillways, effects of ageing and environmental impacts.
More recently, new subjects include cost studies at the planning and construction stage, financing, sharing international rivers, river basin development and water management, environmental and social issues and information for the public at large.
The ICOLD Constitution and By-Laws can be accessed on ICOLD websites: www.icold-cigb.org. The main principles are as following:
- Officers: the President, the 6 Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General-Treasurer are elected for a three-year term of office.
- General Assemblies consist of the Officers of the Commission and of representatives from all the Member Countries. The General Assembly is in charge of resolving all questions concerning organisation and direction of studies, investigations and experiments, administration of all funds and properties, operation of the Central Office and any other relevant business of the Commission; it approves the budget for the forthcoming year and the financial statements for the past one, appoints and organises all Committees and elects new Member Countries.
- The Commission, whenever deemed convenient, appoints Technical Committees and Administrative, Special or "ad hoc" Committees.
- ICOLD Central Office is located in Paris with the Secretary General and staff.
- Official languages are English and French.
- Finance: from National Committees membership fees and from the sale of publications.
- Relationship with UNESCO: ICOLD is a Non-Governmental Organisation - Category A.
ICOLD VISION STATEMENT
ICOLD is the world's leading professional organization, dedicated to advancing the technology of dam engineering and supporting the socially and environmentally responsible development and management of the world's water resources. This is a ccomplished by:
- Providing an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance of dams and their safety and the decommissioning of dams.
- Technical committees that address emerging issues such as monitoring performance of dams, re-analysis of older dams and spillways, environmental impacts and mitigating the effects of aging and decommissioning of dams.
- Promoting public awareness of the beneficial role of dams in the sustainable development and management of the world's water resources.
- The science of dam engineering and water management has been and continues to be advanced by ICOLD's activities.
- ICOLD endeavours to meet tomorrow's challenges in water resource development and management.
The Commission accomplishes its objectives by:
a) interchanging information among its National Committees;
b) holding general assembly and technical meetings
- General Assembly, with representatives of every National Committee and Officers, meets annually
- Regional Clubs of ICOLD: Africa, Americas , Asian, Balkans and European
c) organising and co-ordinating studies and research;
d) publishing proceedings, reports, technical bulletins or other documents such as the World Register of Dams (Register of large dams in ICOLD Member Countries).
Methods to achieve ICOLD objectives are:
- Executive Meeting, with representatives of every National Committee and Officers, meets annually;
- ICOLD Officers, Technical, Administrative and Ad Hoc Committees meet annually or more often, if needed;
- Congresses are organized every three years: The Montreal Congress in 2003 was the 21st Congress of ICOLD;
- Technical Symposia and Workshops are organized every non-Congress year.
- Regional Clubs of ICOLD: Africa-Australasia, Americas , Asian, Balkans and European.
ICOLD has numerous Technical Committees that address current technical issues related to the development and management of water resources. Technical Bulletins (Reports) are regularly published and they are available for purchase and free downloading from the ICOLD website for members of National Committees. The World Register of Dams, updated in 2003, is available for purchase on ICOLD websites. Every National Committee receives a free password to have access to the Register. Information on these publications is given on the ICOLD Catalogue available on the ICOLD website.
BENEFITS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF ICOLD MEMBERSHIP
Participating in an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance of dams and their safety and the decommissioning of dams are just some of the benefits of ICOLD membership.
Working within Technical Committees that address emerging issues such as monitoring performance of dams, re-analysis of older dams and spillways, environmental and social impacts and mitigation effects of aging and decommissioning of dams.
Promoting public awareness of the beneficial role of dams in the sustainable development and management of the world's water resources.
COST IMPLICATIONS OF ICOLD MEMBERSHIP
The amount of the annual membership fee is determined from the position of the applicant country on the scale of Assessment adopted by the United Nations and from the total number of large dams completed in the applicant country. At present, the annual membership fee currently varies between 800 and 15 000 Euros. Application for membership is made to the ICOLD Secretary General. SANCOLD is willing to assist any country in the application for ICOLD membership.