Keynote Speakers

NB: Simultaneous interpretation headsets will be available before the start of the plenary sessions. If you require a headset, please ensure you get one no later than 8:15 a.m.  Photo ID will be required.  It is possible to change the headset to either English or French.

Monday, October 15
8:30 a.m.

Alain Bourque, M. Sc.

Dealing with the Ongoing and Upcoming Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources and Its Use

The warming of the global climate system is unequivocal and indicates broader changes in specific components of the climate system: changes in evaporation and precipitation patterns inducing changes in the water cycle, increased energy becoming available from extreme weather events, significant decreases in snow and ice cover provoking regional to continental scale changes, etc. Although providing some opportunities, climate change is considered as posing significant risks to the well-being of society and the natural environment, also affecting the economy as well as the health and populations.

Various studies systematically show expected increases in average winter flows of rivers in most of Canada for the 2041- 2070 horizon. Also, the frequency/intensity/duration of precipitation-related extreme weather events is expected to increase triggering significant impacts on already-aging infrastructure of all sorts. While reducing greenhouse gases can limit upcoming changes and growth of hazards, investments in adaptation and resilience can also decrease risks. For the energy sector, adaptation solutions can take a variety of forms and both non-structural (adaptation of management rules) and structural measures (adding turbines or resizing equipment) could even allow benefiting from future hydrometeorological conditions.

Adaptation is starting to happen all across the globe and good practices are increasingly documented. While insisting on the importance of connecting science to decision for increased resilience, this presentation will assume that dam managers prefer to be perceived as part of the solution and not part of the problems behind climate change impacts.

**Presentation in English with simultaneous interpretation available

Tuesday, October 16
8:30 a.m.

Stephen Rigbey, P.Eng.,
SJR Consulting, Member of Oroville Independent Forensics Team (IFT)

Looking Beyond Oroville: Where do we go from here?

The Independent Forensics Team (IFT) report, published some 10 months after the Oroville spillway failure in February 2017, concluded that the failure involved a complicated interplay between physical, organizational and human factors that spanned decades.  There was no one simple ‘failure mode’ or linear progression of events that led to the spillway failure and subsequent evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents. However, there were simple tell-tale signs of major unresolved issues that contributed to the failure, and these were overlooked in numerous reviews by generations of well-respected engineers.

The IFT report lays out a number of general lessons to be learned by owners, regulators and consultants. Many of these lessons are simple and self-evident, which invokes the question as to why the dam safety industry has not yet learned and applied these. Reliance on current practice without question, and considering this as ‘best practice’, has become endemic. Challenging the assumptions on which current practice is based is long overdue.

Rather than placing ever more reliance on ‘engineering judgment’ to estimate probabilities and consequences in multi-branched event and fault trees, and repeating the same failure mode development process from review to review, we need to develop new approaches to augment these current practices; approaches that include consideration of operational factors.

We also need to go back to basics, and first understand how each component of a system is supposed to work, and determine if it’s still working the way it’s supposed to. Only then can we start to investigate how the failure of each component can affect the overall system of which it is a part, and how an overall failure could progress. The roles of the CDA, and the owners, regulators and consultants which belong to the organization, must be defined in moving forward on this fundamental issue of challenging current 'best practice'.

**Presentation in English with simultaneous interpretation available

Wednesday, October 17
8:30 a.m.

Antonin Zaruba, P.Eng.,
Hydro-Québec (retired)
The Evolution of Hydroelectricity in Quebec

The evolution of hydroelectricity in Quebec City and the province through the first documented industrial hydroelectric development. The 1893 Montmorency development, still in place, was brought up to standard in 2014.

**Presentation in French with simultaneous interpretation available

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