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79th Annual Meeting:Three new countries join ICOLD, June 2011, Lucerne (Switzerland)

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The International Commission on Large Dams held a very successful meeting in Lucerne (Switzerland) from May 29 to June 3. More than 900 specialists met to work together in the Technical Committees of ICOLD., joined by ministers and officials from China, Africa and Central Asia. Three new countries were accepted in the ICOLD family by the Executive Meeting : Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan become the 93rd, 94th and 95th members of ICOLD.

 

Switzerland participated in the foundation of ICOLD in 1928 and is an active member of the ICOLD family. The country has a long experience in the design, construction and operation of dams essentially for energy purpose. Almost 60% of the electricity consumed in the country is produced by hydro schemes, either as high head storage facilities or run of the river plants.

 

Switzerland maintains a long tradition in dam construction. There are 48 dams higher than 60 m, of which 25 dams are over 100 m high, including the 285 m high Grande Dixence Dam, the highest concrete gravity dam in the world.

 

The Swiss organizers had prepared an International Symposium on June 1st, 2011 : Dams and reservoirs under changing challenges. During that Symposium, the Chinese and Swiss Government representatives signed a memorandum of understanding bearing on dams monitoring.

 

Georges Darbre, responsible for dams at the Federal Office for Energy (BFE), explained that "The Swiss security concept is based on three pillars : a correct construction, supervision and a comprehensive contingency plan". It also includes the early detection of anomalies and a clear delegation of responsibilities. Darbre is responsible for the monitoring of 222 large dams in Switzerland.

 

During the Executive Meeting, two vice-Presidents were elected : Alejandro Pujol, from Argentina, and Tadahiko Sakamoto, from Japan. Secretary General Michel de Vivo was re-appointed until 2015.

 

In 2012, the 80th Annual Meeting and the 24th Congress of ICOLD will take place in Kyoto (Japan). The 81st Annual Meeting will take place in Seattle in 2013, as decided in Lucerne.

 

Finally, the delegates adopted a new Constitution and new By-Laws for ICOLD.

 

 

 

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