HydroCoop presentation

HydroCoop is a non-profit-making organisation formed to promote help to developing countries and 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. A main target is to favour best utilisation of Water and Energy in developing Countries.


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 Pierre LONDE (Honorary Chairman of ICOLD) and François 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 :



  • In the last decades of the 20th century, he was one of the most known engineers in the world in the field of dams, particularly in Arch dams, new conceptions of gravity dams and rock mechanics.
  • He had been President of ICOLD (International Commission of Large Dams).
  • He had a key role in the founding of HydroCoop.


  • Born in india and citizen of Canada has over 40 years of worldwide experience on large hydraulic structures, river and coastal engineering, reservoirs and river sedimentation, and relevant hydraulic modeling.
  • Expert on panels of world Bank, A. D. B. and various state Agencies in U.S. , Brazil and Europe.
  • Currently leading the IHA working group on sedimentation and a major diversion project on Mississipi river.


  • Vast experience in construction of large water engineering works in many countries (oof-shore, coastal and harbour works).
  • Inventor of many structural designs and construction methods.
  • Won First Prize for Innovation awarded by the French Public Works Federation in 1997.


  • Professor of water engineering, one-time Director of the Ecole d’Hydrauliciens, Grenoble.
  • Expert on many boards dealing with dams, tunnels, canals, siltation and economic studies.
  • Expert in university education and higher engineering training in many countries.
  • Author of several books on barrages and instakes and many other publications.
  • General reporter to 20th ICOLD Congress (2000) about Spillways (Q-79).


  • Member of the U.S. Academy of Engineers.
  • Former Chairman of the Committee on Hydraulics of ICOLD.
  • Experience in design and model studies of Hydraulic structures (spillways, penstocks, surge tanks, labyrinth sills,…) in large rivers of five continents (including Parana and Narmada).
  • General Reporter to 20th ICOLD Congress (2000) about Spillways (Q-79).


  • He had been Vice Chairman of ICOLD.
  • He was General Secretary of the Chinese Commitee on Large Dams.


  • Lecturer in hydraulics and soil mechanics in ENGREF (PARIS).
  • Experience in design, control and improvement of very many small and medium irrigation dams and safety control of large rivers levees.
  • Author of ICOLD Bulletin on Geomembranes.
  • Main author of book published by French Committee on Large Dams about small dams.


  • Former President of International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) 1997-2000.
  • International expert on the design and safety evaluation of embakment dams and dams foundation.
  • Author and co-author of two books on dam engineering an 90 technical papers.
  • Professor University of Oslo, Director Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (1974-1991), Professor Stanford University (1968-1974).
  • Foreign Member US National Academy of engineering and Member Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters.


  • Involved in construction of some twenty large dams, canals and river embankments projects on the Rhone, Rhine, Nile, Zambesi and other rivers and in design of ten of these projects.
  • Former Vice-Chairman of the ICOLD Committee on Technology and Chairman of committee on costs.
  • Author and co-author of seven ICOLD Bulletins mainly on floods and costs savings.
  • Inventor (1989) of fusegate concept. Won French Academy of Science prize (1997) for this invention.


  • Past Vice-President of ICOLD.
  • Experience of design and construction of Large Dams and Powerplants in russia and abroad (High Aswan Dam).
  • Expertise in Hydraulic, (vibration, air injection, …).
  • General Reporter about “Large Capacity Outlets and Spillways” at 13th ICOLD Congress.

Other world experts who are not listed above may also give freely their advice.


Hydrocoop (Hydro-cooperation) has been founded in France – Administration and coordination are made in a Paris central office by senior Engineers having long experience of worldwide construction. 

Questions may also be adressed (preferably by e-mail and in english language) to the central office; questions may also be put directly to the experts.

HYDROCOOP Central Office address :
5, Square Villaret de Joyeuse 75017 PARIS – FRANCE 

Tel. : +33 1 56 68 09 10
or Tel. : +33 1 45 34 42 89

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