ICOLD was founded in 1928 and has National Committees from more than 90 countries with approximately 10 000 individual members.
ICOLD members are essentially practising engineers, geologists and scientists form governmental or private organizations, consulting firms, universities, laboratories and construction companies.
The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) 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 environment. Its 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 put on subjects of current concern such as dam safety, monitoring of performance, reanalysis of older dams and spillways, effects of ageing and environmental impact. More recently, new subjects include cost studies at the planning and construction stages, harnessing international rivers, information for the public at large, and financing.