Hydrocoop is a non-profit-making organisation formed to promote international technical cooperation in dam engineering, with special focus on flood control, spillways and sedimentation. It is the outcome of a perceived need for a new approach to the issues described below.
Hydrocoop is also involved in Tidal Energy, in Pumping Storage Plants and in energies of future.
River floods are a serious problem in many countries. A partial remedy is sought by building flood detention and storage dams and embankments along rivers. But different countries show considerable variation in the criteria they employ to set size and capacity of dams, and ancillary equipment to manage sedimentation.
This disparity may arise from differing physiographic and economic conditions, but more usually results from local tradition, which is often ignorant of what is being done in other countries. If information on succesful projects elsewhere were more readily available, including details of costs and suitability for site specific conditions, many new dams might be built substantially more cheaply and safely. Spillways capacity and/or reservoir storage of many existing dams could be improved at low cost.
When planning a new dam or improving an existing one, it is important to examine the effects of recorded or potential failures before selecting the dam type, the safest design details, the best reservoir operating rules and associated warning systems. Yet such information is still inadequately disseminated.
They are very great differences in spillway design criteria (design flood, check flood, imminent failure flood, freeboard, etc.) in use in different countries, a remark which also applies tu rules governing the size and storage capacity of flood control dams and major river embankments.
Problems with conventional gates should be more widely reported. But there are other types of control system that are largely unknown outside the countrieswhere they have been successfully used, such as flashboards, labyrinth sills, fuse dykes, fuseplugs, fusegates, inflatable weirs, etc. Such alternatives are frequently overlooked through lack of information.
Siltation problems have often been overlooked. Disseminating informations about actual cost efficiency and practical data of various solutions is essential.
Lastly, flood control during the construction period is still too often handled in the conventional way whereas there are now a wide variety of approaches that save money and improve safety.
It is therefore vital to improve communication channels beetween countries. The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) plays an active role in disseminating such information, but it is mainly the industrialised countries that benefit. Moreover many alternatives used in the less industrialised nations go unnoticed, even though they might be extremely beneficial in other parts of the world including industrial countries.
This is the background against which Hydrocoop was formed by P. LONDE and F. LEMPÉRIÈRE in 1997.
It consists of a dozen senior engineers with extensive worldwide experience of the situation. They are prepared to devote some of their time and experience to solving problems of the type described. Having directed or taken part in very many studies and dam construction in many countries, they have no difficulty in working with ministries, executive agencies, consulting engineers, construction contractors and others. They know the importance of selecting cost efficient and practical solutions.
The services they offer may be embodied in a formal agreement but this is not essential. Hydrocoop services may range from simply providing information to drafting full reports on aspects of development projects. Hydrocoop does not supply working drawings nor compete in engineering normal procedures. Services may be provided on a short term basis for instance for improvising existing dams or be on-going thoughout the design and construction process. Hydrocoop always prefers solutions that can be built by the resources available within the beneficiary country.
Hydrocoop offers its services free of charge, although contribution to travel expenses is desirable since its only resources come from donations and subsidies, and the unpaid work of its senior experts.
Hydrocoop is open to engineers from all countries. Services offered are based upon the worldwide experience in design and construction of its experts, including :
He had been Vice Chairman of ICOLD
He was General Secretary of the Chinese Commitee on Large Dams