Nepal Dam Safety Review Project (Advisory Support to Improve Readiness for Hydropower Preparation)


Funding Agency: World Bank
Client: World Bank
Date: Sep 2016 – July 2017

The two key objectives of this project are to assist the GoN in (i) assessing the current national dam safety framework and recommending how to strengthen it; and (ii) reviewing the current guidelines for study and design of hydropower generation projects including dam safety aspects, and updating selected priority subjects.

The two major deliverables for the project are given as follows:

Deliverable 1: Prepare a comprehensive report outlining the current status of hydropower infrastructure safety standards in Nepal, and propose appropriate measures and recommendations to the GoN that can be implemented to enhance safety standards and practices pertaining to hydropower infrastructure.

The main deliverables are:

  1. Safety assessment report of selected damaged dams/hydropower facilities,
  2. Review report of current hazard assessment and design criteria through national level seismic and flood studies and selected existing / planned hydropower dams,
  3. PFMA workshop report of two selected dams/HPPs,
  4. Institutional assessment report of the current national dam safety framework,
  5. International best practices report
  6. Recommendations on national dam safety framework and road map,
  7. Capacity development needs assessment report and action plan,
  8. Conceptual design of dams/HPP asset management system (GIS linked database, documentation depository), and
  9. Three workshops organization and proceedings. Also, three (3) workshops including training sessions will be provided.

Deliverable 2: The main deliverables are:

  1. Review report of three DOED guidelines for hydropower studies and design along with recommended key subjects,
  2. Prepare updated or new guidelines for selected key subjects to be agreed with GON,
  3. Prepare a checklist for reviewers to inspect the technical, economic and financial feasibility of hydropower projects proposed by developers based on the updated guidelines;
  4. Prepare guidelines for other dam safety aspects, such as construction quality control, operation & maintenance, instrumentation, emergency preparedness plan, etc. for both regulators and owners/operators.

Actual Service Provided by the firm within the assignment:

Generally, the assignments to accomplish the project goals and produce the deliverables are categorized into two tasks :-

Task 1: Technical Assistance for Assessing and Enhancing National Dam Safety Framework

The Consultant will assist the GoN in assessing and enhancing the dam safety framework for hydropower projects by:

  1. Dam Safety Assessment of Existing Dams and Design Criteria
  2. Dam Safety Framework Assessment
  3. Preparation and Execution of Action Plan for Institutional Capacity Building
  4. Preparation and Execution of Action Plan for Institutional Capacity Build
  5. Prepare conceptual design of dams/ HPP asset management system (GIS linked database, documentation depository)

  Task 2: Updating Guidelines for Study and Design, and Due Diligence of Hydropower Projects

The Consultant will assist the GoN in reviewing existing  DoED guidelines for study (2003) and design (2006) of hydropower projects and updating / enhancing some selected technical subjects:

  1. Review the three DoED technical guidelines for hydropower projects, including investigation, planning, design, construction quality assurance, operation & maintenance, instrumentation, etc.
  2. Review the technical design standards and criteria for various components of hydropower project such as civil works, electro-mechanical works, and electrical works and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Cover key technical subjects, such as seismic hazard assessment/design, landslide prone zones and protection measures, as well as climate change impact, GLOFs, sedimentation management, etc.
  4. Update the economic and financial section of the guideline reflecting the relevant WB guidelines and international practices.
  5. Update the environmental and social section of the guideline reflecting the WB safeguard policies / guidelines as well as international standards and practices.
  6. Engage key stakeholders (public as well as private sector) to participate in on-going discussions, plans or ideas to incorporate the GoN’s vision for enhancing the guidelines.
  7. Based on reviews/assessments conducted, provide advice and guidance to the GoN including clear guidelines to integrate dam safety at early stages of hydropower project pipeline planning to account for Natural disasters like earthquake, landslides etc.
  8. Based on agreement with GON, select key subjects that should be updated and enhanced, such as seismic hazard assessment and design, dam safety regulation and inspection, instrumentation monitoring, emergency preparedness plan, etc. and prepare updated/new guidelines for the selected subjects.
  9. Any other advisory activities as needed or requested by the GoN in the context of the assignment.

Task 3: GIS

To initiate the development of a country wide integrated GIS database that will include existing and planned Hydropower Projects (HPP) dams, irrigation dams and water supply dams. The proposed GIS layers should, if possible, include identification of areas where there is a risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF), the location of previous and potential for earthquake induced Landslide Dam Outburst Floods (LDOF), land use, population centres, cultural heritage sites, geological, administrative, and land use information.

The main objective is to provide a better understanding as to areas of risk, areas where existing or planned hydropower development s might impact the downstream and upstream areas and how geohazards may impact and influence the dam safety. Of particular concern are the potential for Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) and post extreme event landslide dam formation and potential debris flow releases. When completed, the new GIS data base will form a valuable tool for waterpower development in Nepal and form the basis of a nationwide inventory of dams that is a fundamental need in any managed dam safety program