About CDA

The Canadian Dam Association is a group of Owners, Operators, Regulators, Consultants and Suppliers interested in dams and reservoirs. CDA provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and experience in the field of dam safety, public safety and protection of the environment.

Vision Statement

The Canadian Dam Association envisions a future in which all dams are safe, well-managed and benefit society.

Mission Statement

The Canadian Dam Association’s mission is to encourage cooperation, advance technical knowledge, and build competency related to dams in Canada.

 To achieve our vision and mission, our objectives are to:
  • Encourage responsible practices and management throughout the life cycle of dams

  • Continually improve information on, and knowledge of, dams

  • Foster an awareness and understanding of dams and related issues

  • Generate, disseminate and exchange information and knowledge related to dams

  • Support the development of skills and expertise in dam disciplines

  • Provide broad representation of the dam community in Canada
  • Contribute the Canadian perspective to the international dam community.

 CDA is not a statutory or regulatory organization; we do not regulate the construction and operation of dams, nor do we regulate the practice of dam engineering. Neither is CDA an advocacy organization: our interest is not in promoting dams, but rather promoting excellence in dam engineering, construction and operation. However, we do count amongst our members representatives from Provincial and Territorial dam regulatory bodies, and we have corporate members who have interests either as owners, consultants and suppliers, and share CDA’s goal of sharing ideas and experience.

CDA is a member society of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), which develops and promotes continuing education as well as advocating the values and benefits of engineering.

The Canadian Dam Safety Association (CDSA) was founded in 1989 to advance the implementation of practice to ensure the safe operation of dams in Canada. In 1997, the CDSA amalgamated with the Canadian National Committee on Large Dams (CANCOLD) to form the Canadian Dam Association (CDA). CDA now serves as the Canadian national committee of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD).

What We Do


We hold an annual conference in the fall with keynote presentations, technical papers and workshops, with supplier exhibits. The annual conference is the focus for exchange of information and experience during the year, and provides superb opportunities for networking. Technical papers presented at past conferences are available for download by CDA Members. In addition to the annual conference, we hold regional workshops and events organized by local groups.

CDA Technical Committees and Working Groups produce publications including guidelines and technical bulletins on topics such as Dam Safety and Public Safety Around Dams. These publications are available for purchase through the website – CDA Members receive discounted pricing.

We produce a quarterly print magazine – the CDA Bulletin - with articles, technical information and developments of interest to CDA Members, as well as opportunities for advertising. The CDA Bulletin is mailed to all CDA Members. CDA Members are also able to download current and past issues of the Bulletin.


History of CANCOLD (to 1998)
(Adobe PDF File)
History of CDSA (to 1998)
(Adobe PDF File)