Dam Safety Guidelines

Dam Safety Guidelines
, published by CDA in 2007, has become an important reference document for dam safety in Canada and internationally. Available in both English and French, the Guidelines consist of principles that are applicable to all dams, and an outline of processes and criteria for management of dam safety in accordance with the principles.

The responsible dam engineer or decision-maker must assess and interpret the information provided in Dam Safety Guidelines, identify any considerations not addressed by those documents, take into account advances in understanding, and determine the appropriate dam safety requirements for a specific situation.

In October 2013, a revision to Sections 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 was released to CDA members as a downloadable document on the Dam Safety Committee page under the TECHNICAL tab at the top. In the 2013 revision, CDA clarifies its endorsement of the use of a risk-informed approach to dam safety decisions.

The printed publication Dam Safety Guidelines 2007 (Revised 2013) will include the new sections 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3, and will be available for purchase at SHOP CDA, by early 2014. 

Technical Bulletins


In 2007, CDA published a set of technical bulletins to supplement Dam Safety Guidelines. The technical bulletins suggest methodologies and procedures for use by qualified professionals as they carry out dam analyses and safety assessments. The 2007 bulletins are currently available as a package from SHOP CDA, but future revisions and new bulletins will be published and sold as individual documents.

  1. Inundation, Consequences, and Classification for Dam Safety (2007)
  2. Surveillance of Dam Facilities (2007)
  3. Flow Control Equipment for Dam Safety (2007)
  4. Public Safety and Security Around Dams, DRAFT - Withdrawn. See Public Safety.
  5. Dam Safety Analysis and Assessment (2007)
  6. Hydrotechnical Considerations for Dam Safety (2007)
  7. Seismic Hazard Considerations for Dam Safety (2007)
  8. Geotechnical Considerations for Dam Safety (2007)
  9. Structural Considerations for Dam Safety (2007)