2022 – Assessment of Climate Change Impacts to a Large Dam in Vietnam

Bill Veale – Damwatch Engineering Limited, Peter Amos – Damwatch Engineering Limited, Nguyen Canh Thai – Thuyloi University, Marcus Wishart – The World Bank.

The requirement to consider climate change impacts in the design of new dam projects, or the safety evaluation of existing dams, is recognised and becoming increasingly recommended by international dam industry agencies and regulatory authorities (see e.g. World Bank, 2018; USACE, 2018). However, there are limited methodologies widely accepted and applied that would be considered as international dam
industry practice. This is in part due to current projections of future climate changes to reservoir catchment hydrology being complex to derive, highly uncertain and therefore requiring guidance on their derivation, interpretation and use.

This paper provides a framework for quantification of hazards to a dam under projected, future climate change scenarios as well as the potential effect to communities living downstream of the dam. Discussion on how this information can then be used towards developing adaptation strategies for the dam including appropriate actions, priorities and timescales required to respond to climate change is also provided. The framework is illustrated through application to a case study dam located in Vietnam. However, the findings from the case study are expected to be relevant to other countries.

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