Multi-purpose water reservoirs and dams play a major role for water supply, irrigation and flood protection in India. In order to ensure long-term operation and safety of the dams, adaptation planning, maintenance, repair and retrofitting are needed.

DAMSAFE is a demonstration project sponsored by the Dutch Partners for Water program and supports decision making in a long-term integrated approach.

The DAMSAFE consortium consists of the Dutch based research organisation Deltares (coordinator) and the Dutch companies SkyGeo and Royal Eijkelkamp and the Spanish company iPresas.


Badhra dam

The project

The water reservoirs in India are of vital importance to the cities and urban areas. They provide water for irrigation of the land (food production), are used to generate electricity (water and energy) and offer protection against flooding (safety). Often, the dams are aging, but are also facing different circumstances than when designed, due to changes in land use, socio-economic developments and climate change. The goal of DAMSAFE is to contribute to enhancing dam safety and water management in India. Innovative tools help in forecasting reservoir inflow and outflow, thus increasing reservoir performance and more controlled release of water in the environment. They allow assessment of the dam condition resulting in optimization of Operation and Maintenance (O&M), while rapid and risk based assessment of dam safety provides information for emergency response.

Innovative Technologies

Different technologies, that have been developed and proven elsewhere, provide high quality and reliable information to the end-user. They are implemented in an integrated manner in DAMSAFE.

  • A risk model based on Risk-informed Dam Safety Assessment evaluates existing risk compared with international tolerability recommendations, identifies, analyses and prioritizes risk reduction measures and evaluates the impact on risk reduction of actions.
  • The online monitoring system enables monitoring of the weather (e.g. rainfall), the dam, the surface water levels and water quality in the reservoir.
  • Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PS-InSAR) is a radar technique used to generate maps of surface deformation with millimetre precision. In combination with dam safety modelling, it provides information on long-term risks and prioritizing in Operation and Maintenance (O&M) efforts. It also detects anomalies as an indicator for the need of short term in-situ inspections.
  • Delft-FEWS is a platform to integrate data from different sources and to perform computations automatically using different numerical models, e.g. SOBEK and DAM. SOBEK is a modelling suite for hydraulic and morphological simulations, while DAM is a software tool that determines the strength of a dam or dike based on certain failure mechanisms.
Process for Risk-Informed Dam Safety Assessment


Dashboard online monitoring


Maps of surface deformation generated by PS-InSAR , platform of SKY GEO


Delft-FEWS platform


Deltares is an independent (non-profit) institute for applied research in the field of water, infrastructure and subsurface. Throughout the world, we work on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society. Our main focus is on delta areas, coastal regions and river basins. Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex, which is why we work closely with governments, private sector, other research institutes and universities at home and abroad. Our motto is Enabling Delta Life. Deltares employs over 800 people and is based in Delft and Utrecht. Abroad Deltares has offices and affiliates in Singapore, Indonesia (Jakarta), India, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Latin America and the USA (Silverspring).


Royal Eijkelkamp compromises of Eijkelkamp Soil & Water, Eijkelkamp SonicSampDrill, Eijkelkamp Academy and the Eijkelkamp foundation. Four companies with one binding factor: a focus on soil and water. Eijkelkamp Soil & Water is involved worldwide within the themes Land Degradation, Food Security, Urbanisation, Pollution, Land Development and Natural Resources. In India Eijkelkamp Soil & Water has cooperations with local companies in Hyderabad and Kolkata (representing agents). The Eijkelkamp Smart Sensoring concept enables you to effectively monitor, visualize and manage quantitative & qualitative measurement data. Based on customer needs, we provide the implementation of an online dashboard.


SkyGeo has ample experience in long term monitoring of ground and infrastructure deformation using radar satellite information. Using so-called advanced Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) methodologies, it is possible to perform large scale, long term and cost effective (dam) infrastructure monitoring activities. InSAR allows for measuring ground deformation with millimeter precision and a high measurement density of up to ten thousands of measurement points per square kilometer. An important other advantage of the technology is that satellite images are typically covering an area of 30×50 km, meaning that the whole dam and reservoir can be monitored from the same source data. This includes for example reservoir slopes, pumping stations, structural elements and supporting constructions, this cannot be achieved cost-effectively otherwise.


iPresas is a technology-based spin-off company of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) aiming at supporting integrated safety and security management for owners and operators of dams and other water critical infrastructures. Founded in 2011 by a group of researchers, iPresas has accumulated more than 15 years of academic and research experience, including national and international projects. iPresas provides consulting and training services for public and private entities promoting and supporting risk-informed critical infrastructure management and governance. iPresas’ team has carried out dam safety and flood risk analyses in Spain, Sweden, Albania, USA, Uruguay and Honduras. Spain is the country with the largest number of large dams in Europe. The contribution of iPresas to the consortium is its know-how and track record in structural dam risk analysis, dam safety and security management. iPresas’ expertise is to bring risk analysis techniques into practice to support decision-making on critical infrastructure management. iPresas has the rights for the exploitation of the risk analysis software “iPresas”, first developed at the UPV.


      Central Water Commission



The Central Water Commission (CWC) is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating and coordinating in consultation with the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for the purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Hydro Power Development. The Dam Safety Organization (DSO) is one of the design and research wings of CWC. This organization is performing a coordinative and advisory role for the State Governments in assisting them to locate causes of potential distress in dams, to recommend measures and to lay down guidelines for dam safety monitoring. Also DSO is advising the State Governments and dam owning agencies on matters concerning inspection and review of the safety status of dams & instrumentation of dams, dam break studies and preparation of emergency action plans. Practically all dam safety and water resource projects are managed by Central Water Commissions. Having them as one of the beneficiary partners in this pilot project, already creates potential for up scaling of the pilot project to other dam and reservoir sites.


Karnataka Water Resources Department



The Karnataka Water Resources Department (KWRD) is one of the major departments in the Government of Karnataka, headed by the Hon’ble Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation. The Department harnesses Surface Water for Irrigation and Drinking Water Purposes. The Water Resources Department consists of three major corporations- Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL), Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) and Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL). These three corporations are a unique establishment of the state of Karnataka as these act as a special purpose vehicle for speedy implementation of irrigation projects and to enable the Government to borrow funds from external sources. In addition to these three corporations, there are some projects which are being handled by the Water Resources Department directly. Karnataka Water Resources Department joined the Dam Safety and Rehabilitation Project (DRIP) and proposed rehabilitation of 27 dams. Karnataka has in total 230 large dams and is keen to participate in the pilot project as is proven by their letter of commitment (see page iv), signed by a high level state government official.


Partners for water




The Netherlands has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of water and water management and has thereby built up a good reputation internationally. The international demand for water knowledge is growing. And that offers opportunities for the Dutch water sector. The Partners for Water program was dedicated to supporting the Dutch water sector in capitalizing on these opportunities. The program has had a stimulating role in this; projects were supported in the initiating phase. The Partners for Water program was carried out by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) and the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) on behalf of the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment, Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs. The international policy ambitions in the field of water of these three ministries were set out in Chapter 6 of the National Water Plan.


In February 2017, the DAMSAFE consortium has carried out several activities during the first mission, including the inception meeting, a site visit to the Badhra dam and a working session on dam failure mode identification.

You can download the  mission report here!