25th Congress of ICOLD in Stavanger (Norway) June 2015

September 1, 2015
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The presentations from the Stavanger Congress are now available here.


"Come to Norway and feel the power" was the slogan for the annual conference of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) coupled with its 25th Congress. More than 1000 dam experts from around the world (they came from some 90 different countries) met in Stavanger to discuss new scientific data, technical and environmental challenges. As is usual in ICOLD meetings, they took the occasion to share knowledge and experiences about dams and hydropower more generally. Norway is often presented as the country of hydropower. XX% of its power comes from hydroelectricity.

With its 4 000 river courses and 250 000 lakes, Norway is a blessed country when it comes to electricity production from hydropower. An installed capacity of 27 000 MW ensures that virtually all electricity consumption is covered from hydropower. Hence, hydropower is one of Norway´s most important natural resources. This has been an important factor in the favourable economic development of the country for the last century.

Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy in the world and has wonderful qualities, being clean, emission-free and adjustable. This means the water can be stored in reservoirs and used when needed, representing thus the only way to store huge amounts of electricity. In Scandinavia, Norwegian hydropower plays a crucial role to replace dirty power from coal plants of Denmark and to equilibrate intermittent renewables (wind and solar power).

While large parts of Europe were largely industrialized through the use of coal, hydropower has been at the core of the building of Norway as an industrial nation.


During the General Assembly of ICOLD which took place before the Congress, Pr Anton Schleiss, from Switzerland was elected as the new ICOLD President, replacing departing Adama Nombre, from Burkina Faso.

ICOLD 25th Congress discussed four major questions related to Innovation in utilization of Dams and Reservoirs,  Spillways design considering uncertainties in floods evaluation, gates  related incidents and extreme floods management, Embankment Dams and tailing Dams considering the new development in very high rockfill dams, innovative design in embankment dams, risk related to foundations and interface between concrete and earth works and finally Upgrading and re-engineering of existing dams and reservoirs to extend and improve the services provides by these long lasting infrastructures. Dams can provide services for centuries and sometimes for a millenary so there is a need for a continuous improvement of the dam’s structures and functions. was a scientific success, with many quality presentations on the four questions selected for this Congress:

Question 96:  Innovation and utilization of dams and reservoirs

Question 97: Spillways

Question 98: Embankments and tailings dams

Question 99: Upgrading and re-engineering of existing dams


The presentations made during the Stavanger Congress are now available on ICOLD Website's Publications page.



Anton Schleiss addresses the General Assembly after being elected President


Anton Schleiss, from Switzerland, has been elected as new ICOLD President until the 2018 Congress in Vienna.


Elected Vice-Presidents Ahmed Chraibi (left) and Michael Rogers (right)


2 new Vice-Presidents were also elected, Ahmed Chraibi (Morocco)  and Michael Rogers (United States).


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