Organized by the Swiss Committee on Dams, the 12th ICOLD European Club Symposium was held in Interlaken from September 5 to 8, 2023.
Almost 100 participants attended a series of workshops on the 5th of September. These workshops gave the opportunity to develop various important subjects:
• "Earthquakes and dams": behaviour of dams under seismic loading illustrated by past incidents, numerical aspects of seismic resistance assessment
• "Hydraulics of dams": focus on the challenges of river diversion during dam construction, and the design of low level and bottom outlets
• "Pendulum systems in dams": State of the art of vertical precision drilling for pendulums, drilling technologies for inverted pendulums
• "RCC dams and CFRDs": evolution and trends, concrete for RCC dams, challenges and solutions for CFRDs
The Symposium was attended by more than 330 participants between September 6 and 7. Extensive discussions took place around the four subjects proposed under the overarching theme: "Role of dams and reservoirs in a successful energy transition":
• Dams and reservoirs for hydropower
• Dams and reservoirs for climate change adaptation
• Sustainable dams and reservoirs
• How to deal with ageing dams?
Besides some 30 posters, about 60 articles were presented, demonstrating special interests on the ageing of dams, their rehabilitation or decommissioning, but also management of sedimentation, mitigation of dams' impacts and the growing challenges but also opportunities related to climate modification.
The 75th anniversary of SwissDams was also an opportunity to take a look back on the development of dams in Switzerland, illustrated by the screening of a short movie, to point out the export of the Swiss expertise in the domain, to re-define hydropower in the context of the European energy transition and to emphasize the necessity of the development of multipurpose reservoirs and their roles in the future. In this context the Swiss Federal Councillor Dr. Albert Rösti addressed a particularly appreciated speech.
To conclude the Symposium, a site visit of the new Spitallamm dam close to the Grimsel pass was the occasion to demonstrate the future of dam development in Switzerland.