Share on:

Dams engineering requires understanding and control of the enormous forces and potential energy of water. From foundation and seismic assessments through to geotechnical, hydrological, hydraulic, mechanical and structural design, projects demand in-depth skills and a coordinated, client-focused approach.

We recognize our clients’ needs for solutions that harness in-depth knowledge with forward thinking to produce innovative, safe and cost-effective outcomes. We have successfully delivered through all methods of project delivery, from the conventional approach to design and construct, alliances and Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM). 

GHD provides services for the following dam types and appurtenant structures:

  • Earthfill dams
  • Earth and rockfill dams
  • Concrete or membrane-faced rockfill dams
  • Concrete gravity dams
  • Roller-compacted concrete dams
  • Concrete arch and multiple barrel arch dams
  • Concrete buttress (including diamond-head) dams
  • Tailings and mining dams
  • Gated and ungated spillways
  • Intake and outlet works
  • Hydromechanical installations

The services we provide in dams engineering include:

Investigations and appraisals

  • Project identification
  • Geotechnical site investigations
  • Engineering geological assessments
  • Stream gauging, flood assessments and reservoir yield studies


  • Feasibility studies
  • Hydrological analysis and review
  • Hydraulic design, analysis and assessment
  • Hydraulic modeling of spillways and outlet works including computational fluid dynamics
  • Dam break analysis and inundation mapping
  • Options studies for dam strengthening and spillway upgrades
  • Geotechnical assessments
  • Environmental assessment and management
  • Statutory approvals
  • Groundwater/recharge modeling and yield analysis


  • Foundation design including treatment and improvement, consolidation and curtain grouting, cut-offs (including slurry trenches) and abutment stability
  • Embankment zoning and slope stability analysis
  • Construction materials assessment and investigation
  • Concrete dam stability and structural analysis
  • Numerical modeling (2-D & 3-D) for thermal, seismic and structural effects
  • Hydraulic, structural and mechanical analysis and design of spillways, intake tower and outlet works
  • Diversion works including coffer dams, tunnels and conduits
  • Mechanical and electrical design for gates, valves and other equipment
  • Concrete and RCC mix design and trial mix studies

Tender and construction phase services

  • Development of tender documentation including specifications, engineering cost estimates and construction programming
  • Construction phase project management
  • Construction phase technical management
  • Materials management and quality control

Operational support

  • Asset management services
  • Asset valuations and condition assessments
  • Development of dam safety documentation including standing operating procedures, operation & maintenance manuals and emergency action plans
  • Dam surveillance, instrumentation and monitoring
  • Dam safety training
  • Rehabilitation works including corrosion control and concrete repairs
  • Sediment deposition management
  • Seepage analysis and control solutions

Dam safety and risk assessment

  • Dam safety inspections
  • Dam surveillance and safety reviews
  • Dam failure impact assessments and hazard/consequence classification
  • Post-disaster inspection and assessment
  • Risk assessment including quantitative and qualitative assessments, event trees, fault trees and consequence assessment for individual dams
  • Portfolio risk assessments

Owner’s Engineer and review panels

  • Specialist technical advice across all disciplines  
  • Project and design review
  • Procurement advice
  • Project management services
GHD Library

The GHD library is a collection of relevant resources to this service line.