Published Paper Award of Excellence

This award recognizes the contribution made by CDA members in authoring an outstanding article or technical paper related to dams. The award is offered annually to the author(s) of a selected publication made in Canada or internationally. Previous recipients include:

In 2020, CDA granted two published paper awards.

Mr. Stephen Rigbey and Dr. Desmond (Des) Hartford authored the technical paper “Oroville in Retrospect: What needs to change?” presented at ICOLD 2019 in Ottawa. The paper challenges the excessive reliance on current “best practice” in dam safety and encourages new approaches that consider operational factors and understanding of system components, emphasize simple surveillance and monitoring, properly and fully address and investigate what is obviously deficient, and develop adequate emergency procedures. It is a true challenge for all practitioners involved in dam safety and associated risk management.

Mr. Jeremy Boswell, Dr. Amy Rentz, Mr. Paul Cavanagh, Mr. Larry Staples and Dr. Lianne Lefsrud were recognized for their valuable contribution with their paper, Preliminary Work by the Alberta Dam Integrity Advisory Committee (DIAC) Towards Thinking Clearly and Communicating Effectively about Risk, which was presented in Calgary in October 2019 as part of the CDA annual conference.  This technical paper highlights the need for dam owners that are responsible for assessing risks, mitigating them to acceptably low levels, to communicate clearly such risks to the regulators and the public. The work in progress is intended to aid practitioners in the field of dam safety in understanding and applying risk communication principles and approaches to improve dam integrity. The paper also underlines the critical aspects of balancing effective communication of technical facts and judgements with communicating and understanding societal values, and the importance of keeping the public engaged in a two-way risk communication process.