The Levees and Flood Defenses Working Group is operating under the European Club of ICOLD. It was officially created during the meeting of the European Club in the Stavanger congress of ICOLD in June 2015.
It will produce a report or reports on the following general topics:
- An overview of facts on levee and flood protection structures and systems in the participating countries
- An analysis on similarities and differences in large dams, small dams and levees
- An identification of topics requiring further study under the umbrella of levees, and of levee related topics that can have added value for dams practitioners
It will also try to work on one or some more specific topics. A short list of such specific topics was produced during the Working Group first meeting:
- Dealing with European legislation, such as Water Framework Directive, Floods Directive (including transboundary aspects), harmonized European Standards such as Eurocode, etc.. Eurocode is to be updated in 2020, and specific questions relate to safety approaches, the justification of stability rules and the applicability of Eurocode 7 to dams and levees.
- Risk based approaches in all life cycle phases of levees and dams.
- Inspections and monitoring, including novel real-time monitoring approaches
- Parallels and differences in failure mechanisms for levees, small dams and large dams, related to piping, stability, revetments, transitions, hydraulic structures etc.
- Construction and upgrading of levees, inciuding innovative materials
- Impacts (seismicity, subsidence) on dams/levees due to subsurface extraction of gas, minerals.
The Working group has now (April 2016) members from 13 countries : Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Spain. We have contacts with the Swiss Committee on Dams for a tentative membership.
The strategic objective of our Working Group is to demonstrate to all of the Dams Community of Practice that levees and other flood defences are related hydraulic structures and intersting to include as a topic, as some national Dams Committees already have done.
Our working group maintains contact in the United States of America with related organizations : the Levee Committee of USSD, and the Levee Safety Coalition.