The Vietnam-New Zealand Dam Safety Project (VNZDSP) has been implemented by Thuyloi University in cooperation with Damwatch Engieering Ltd. and GNS Science, New Zealand since 2016 with the aim of reducing the risks of dam failure and enhancing the capacity of disaster risk management and dam safety in Vietnam. One of the important products of the project is Dam Rapid Assessment and Prioritisation Tool (DRAPT). This tool is to be used as a rapid and effective evaluation method for dam safety which aims at high accuracy and time and cost saving benefits.
(From left to right) Mr Pham Hung Cuong (WB), Mr Peter Amos (Damwatch),
Mr Tom Wilson (New Zealand Embassy), Vice Minister Hoang Van Thang (MARD),
Prof.Dr Pham Hong Giang (VNCOLD), Assoc.Prof.Dr Nguyen Canh Thai (TLU)
On the afternoon of August 29, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with Thuyloi University organized a workshop to introduce DRAPT. At the workshop, the VNZDSP experts presented the methodology and how DRAPT was used for a few case studies at a number of dams in Nghe An. Basically, DRAPT consists of 5 steps: (1) Dam Site Inspection, (2) Preliminary Downstream Impact Assessment, (3) Preliminary Spillway Capacity Assessment, (4) Preliminary Potential Failure Modes Assessment, and (5) Preliminary Dam Safety Risk Assessment. Based on the results of the assessment of these five steps, a list of dams which are to be prioritized for upgrading are identified.
Workshop participants highly appreciated the tool. Representatives from Nghe An Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, a province strongly affected by natural disasters and climate change, recognized the importance of DRAPT in improving dam safety and disaster risk management.
Vice Minister Hoang Van Thang said "Vietnam has around 10,000 dams and reservoirs, 1,000 dams of which are in unsafe conditions. The Government of Vietnam is particularly concerned about dam safety and making efforts to improve the quality of dams to cope with the risks of flooding. Among more than 1,000 dams assessed to be unsafe, DRAPT can help to quickly identify dams at high risk and identify the dams that need to be prioritized. Therefore, this is an important tool with high potential applications for Vietnam.” At present, this project is piloted in the Ca river basin in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces, however, Vice Minister expressed the intention to establish a legal framework for DRAPT to be applied nationwide.