Dam safety & BC Hydro

Aerial photo of the Revelstoke Dam

BC Hydro dams confirmed safe by independent safety review

BC Hydro's top priority is the safety of the public and our employees. We safely operate and maintain 82 dams at 40 locations across the province, and have done so for decades.

BC Hydro is recognized worldwide as a leader in the safe operation and management of dams. Our rigorous dam safety program meets or exceeds the requirements of the B.C. Dam Safety Regulation.

A 2018 audit concluded that our dam safety program is well-established and is in line with international practices. In addition, an independent external audit by two international experts in 2013 found that BC Hydro has a strong dam safety program and a robust risk assessment process consistent with international best practices.

With the goal of continuing to invest in our infrastructure and make our facilities even safer, we're investing around $2 billion dollars over 10 years to upgrade our facilities across the province.

Internationally recognized dam safety program

BC Hydro owns, operates and maintains 82 dams at 40 sites across British Columbia. Our comprehensive dam safety program is recognized as one of the best in the world.

BC Hydro's dam safety program is responsible for managing the safety of all of BC Hydro's structures that retain the reservoirs and control the passage of water that flows through, around and beyond our dams. This is undertaken by professional and technical staff responsible for all aspects of dam safety including surveillance, investigations, risk analysis and prioritization, project initiation and oversight, and regulatory compliance and reporting.

The evaluation of the safety of our dams also helps to form the foundation of our long-term capital plan to upgrade our facilities where deficiencies are identified.

The program includes:

  • Continual monitoring of dams via thousands of instruments
  • Identification and assessment of issues with dams
  • Planning to address issues in priority sequence
  • Interim measures to manage risk prior to completion of seismic upgrades

To meet the requirements of the B.C. Dam Safety Regulation, BC Hydro's dam safety program is based on inspections, independent expert reviews, and monitoring of instrumentation data from the dams. Potential deficiencies are identified for further study, and when dam safety improvements are found to be necessary, the projects are prioritized and brought into BC Hydro's capital planning process.