Project Description

The Viet Nam – New Zealand Dam Safety Project is a collaboration between the Governments of Viet Nam and New Zealand with the overall aim to reduce the risk and impact of dam failures and flooding in the Ca River catchment in central Viet Nam. Funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme the project is being implemented by Viet Nam’s Thuy Loi University, New Zealand’s Damwatch Engineering and GNS Science.

The project involves creating a system for dam and disaster management in Viet Nam, in parallel with implementing the prototype in an example catchment. The prototype system will provide Vietnamese dam owners, industry professionals and government agencies with the skills, tools and processes to dramatically reduce the risk of extreme dam discharge or dam failures. This is achieved by improving risk management between dam owners, developers, land use planning and emergency agencies and providing a framework for Viet Nam to implement throughout the country.


DDCSI, Phase 1 (2012 to 2016)

Phase 1 of the project from 2012-2016, the Dam and Downstream Community Safety Initiative (DDCSI), developed Guidelines for dam safety assessment in a river basin context. Natural hazards are assessed, dam condition appraised, flood maps produced and downstream consequences of flood release or dam break quantified. This process is illustrated in the figure shown to the right. Phase 1 successfully developed a Dam Safety Methodology (DSM) in the Viet Nam context, and the DSM was accepted by Vietnam as its preferred approach to address dam safety.

VNZDSP, Phase 2 (2016 to 2021)

Phase 2 of the project, the Viet Nam New Zealand Dam Safety Project (VNZDSP), is being implemented from 2016 to 2021. This phase applies the DSM Guidelines developed in Phase 1 to a whole river basin, the Ca River system in Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces.

Key outputs include:

1. Defining existing assets and existing hazards

  • Introduction of the Dam Rapid Assessment and Prioritisation Tool (DRAPT) for quickly determining dam condition, associated hazards and consequences for prioritising the detailed assessment and upgrade of dams using the Phase 1 methodology
  • Undertaking Failure Mode Analysis (FMA) for high hazard dams to inform dam management and dam structural improvements, disaster risk management (DRM) interface improvements and downstream infrastructure improvements/ interventions
  • Assessing and documenting flood, seismic and landslide hazards throughout a river basin.
  • Undertaking flood modelling and producing inundation maps for various sizes of flood
  • Determining the downstream consequences of flood or dam failure scenarios for use in disaster risk management

2. Delivering operational guidelines

  • Developing action checklists for improvements in DSM and DRM
  • Applying lessons learnt as the project progresses to update the DSM Guidelines produced in Phase 1

3. Delivering expert training to key stakeholders

  • Developing training courses in Dam Safety Management (DSM) to increase stakeholder knowledge & understanding of the DSM methodology and its benefits
  • Assimilating the DSM into the engineering curriculum of Thuy Loi University curriculum

Key Stakeholders : The range of stakeholders in the Ca River Basin is both diverse and large in number. Our key stakeholders include:

Ministry for Agriculture & Rural Development (MARD)

Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)

Ministry of Natural Resources & the Environment (MONRE)

People’s Committees in each Province

Dam owners/operators

Local communities

Local industries including agriculture

The World Bank (particularly associated with the Dam Rehabilitation and Safety Improvement Project WB8)

Viet Nam Committee on Large Dams (VNCOLD)

Emergency management agencies

Universities (specifically Thuy Loi University) and students undertaking graduate & post-graduate studies in water management-related disciplines

International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

The New Zealand Government