Established in 1970, the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) is one of the most significant technical and scientific bodies in Iran, as well as an active member country of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) in recent years.

With more than 3,500 members including academics, managers, and senior experts in different fields related to the water sector, this committee has brought a great reputation among national academic societies. In the last decades, Iran has made remarkable efforts in different fields of dam construction while respecting professional ethics with least harm to the environment to achieve sustainable development and common wealth of the nation and the world as a whole.

While attending many world sessions and annual meetings, its members have also obtained 27 chairs in different technical committees of ICOLD. During the 66th annual meeting of ICOLD held in India, in 1998, Iran was elected as the Vice President of ICOLD for a period of three years (1998-2001). This committee held its 73rd executive meeting on May 25, 2005, in Tehran which brought new experiences in field related to dam construction to the country.

Furthermore, during the 86th annual meeting of ICOLD held in Austria, in 2018, Iran was elected as the Vice President of ICOLD for the second time and terms of office from 2018 to 2021. This follows by parallel election as the chairman of Asia-Pacific Group (2019 – 2021).

IRCOLD Mission and Activities

The construction, operation and maintenance of dams and their storage reservoirs have provided significant benefits to humankind throughout history by trying to meet demands for drinking, irrigation and industrial water supplies. Furthermore, they play a vital role in providing energy; fostering well-being and better life conditions for human beings, improving navigation and providing indefinite renewable hydro-electric power; as well as their significant role of controlling overflows and floods.

The Iranian National Committee on Large Dams (IRCOLD) aims at enhancing development and technical knowledge in planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of large dams through following activities:

Dissemination of technical knowledge and information through various modes; e.g. publication of technical reports, guidelines, books and newsletters;

  • Organizing workshops, conferences and IRCOLD technical committees’ meetings;
  • Arranging technical tours, visiting dam sites and hydropower facilities;
  • Providing research and professional excellence;
  • Establishing a technical database and information services to the professionals.

Besides, every year Iranian representatives contribute to the heart of ICOLD activity which is producing state of the art “Technical Bulletins” as recommendations and reliable references for engineers from all over the world. Also in recent years, IRCOLD has been actively and continuously attending international congresses with 52 scientific books and numerous scientific papers.

IRCOLD Organization

IRCOLD is affiliated to the Ministry of Energy of Iran, and is constituted of the supreme council, the executive board and 22 technical committees. The Minister of Energy of Iran is the chairman of the supreme council and the Deputy Minister for Energy Affairs is the deputy chair of the council. The executive board consists of seven members including chairman and secretary general. As stated in the constitution, the members of the executive board consist of representatives of contractors, universities and governmental and non-governmental consultants. Each technical committee comprises of a chairman and a secretary in which the secretary coordinates monthly gatherings and meetings on the subjects with engineering concern.