Enhancing Dam Safety in Nepal

Establish dam safety regulations and standards for Nepal

The World Bank Group and The Government of Nepal | Nepal | 2015-2017

Practical, sustainable dam safety guidelines tailored to Nepal's needs

Training workshops to promote systemic change within Nepal

Award of Excellence, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

Ambassador Award, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards


In 2015, Nepal was devastated by the 7.8-magnitude Gorkha earthquake, which killed an estimated 8,700 people and injured more than 22,500.

115 MW of Nepal's hydropower facilities were severely damaged and another 60 MW impacted, representing 20% of availably capacity.

Nepal did not have national standards so dam designs varied depending on the judgement and experience of the practitioner and the standards of their home country.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the World Bank Group turned to our dam safety experts to undertake a project designed to assist the Government of Nepal in reducing the risks associated with its plan to develop over 15 GW of hydroelectric power within the next 30 years.


The project entailed a review of the current, global, state-of-the-art practices in dam safety management and the state of practice in Nepal.

A number of damaged hydropower facilities were visited to help understand the root causes, nature, and impacts of natural hazards.

Hatch took the best the world had to offer and moulded it into practical state-of-the-art guidelines that were tailored to the specific needs of Nepal. The guidelines included advice on how to deal with the natural hazards of a mountainous country.

Hatch implemented capacity building and training workshops in order to promote systemic change and development within Nepal's dam safety system.


  • The guidelines provided significant benefits to the safety of future hydropower sites, which will ensure that they are appropriately sited, designed, and constructed for Nepal.
  • Outside of Nepal, these new guidelines will offer benefits to hydropower developers in any mountainous country.
  • These guidelines offer advice on maintaining the safety of dams through enhanced design practice and how to ensure the safety of existing and future dams.
  • Training workshops and presentations, a checklist for a review of feasibility studies of hydropower projects, and a conceptual dam and HPP asset management system were added.
  • Award of Merit, Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards

"Hatch maintained their professional support throughout the course of the project, provided a roadmap for the implementation of a new dam safety regulation and technical guidelines that will enhance safety in Nepal for generations to come."

Mr. Madhu Pd. Bhetuwal | Joint Secretary, Government of Nepal

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