Water Management

Dam Safety ProgramLower Bonnington Spillway

In British Columbia, the Water Act has authority over dams and holds dam owners liable for any damage caused by the construction, operation or failure of their dam.  

The British Columbia Dam Safety Regulation applies to all
owners of licensed dams. 
The function of regulating the licensed dams is carried out by Regional and Victoria staff. Dams 9 metres or greater are the responsibility of Victoria staff and dams below 9 metres are a Regional responsibility.

2013 BC Dam Safety Regulation Compliance Reporting new

Annually, owners of High, Very High and Extreme Consequence dams are required to report on the work they have undertaken over the past year in keeping their dams safe and in compliance with the BC Dam Safety Regulation. Letters (including a survey form for each dam) requesting this information will be mailed by November 29, 2013. The survey form must be completed and returned by January 31, 2014.

If you have NOT received this letter by mid-December, or you believe that your dam has been reclassified to a High, Very High, or Extreme consequence rating and therefore need to submit a form, please complete and submit the following 2013 BC Dam Safety Regulations Compliance form using the directions provided within:

For further information about BC Dam Safety Regulations Compliance Reporting, please refer to the information sheet:

Note: users of Adobe Reader may be able to submit the PDF form directly using their email/internet server.  Open the above PDF form, complete all of the gray cells in the form, then click “Submit Form” in the upper right corner of the purple ribbon.  The form may also be saved and printed.

BC Dam Safety Program Annual Report 2012/13 (pdf 3.mb)  

BC Dam Safety Program Annual Report 2011/12 (pdf 1.mb)

BC Dam Safety Program Annual Report 2010/11 (pdf 1.mb)

British Columbia Dam Safety Regulation [includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 163/2011, November 30th, 2011

The objective of the Regulation is to mitigate loss of life and damage to property and the environment from a dam breach by requiring dam owners to: inspect their dams, undertake proper maintenance, report incidents and take remedial action and ensure that the dams meet current engineering standards.

Dam Safety Regulation Information Sheet, March 27th, 2012 (pdf 100kb)

Application of the Dam Safety Regulation.

Dam Signage Information Sheet, March 27th, 2012 (pdf 350kb)

Dam Signage Requirements for Dam Owners with Dams on Crown Land.  Effective November 30th, 2011 a dam owner of a dam located partially or entirely on Crown Land and that has a classification of significant, high, very high or extreme must ensure that there is at all times posted on the land at both ends of the top of the dam a sign that meets the criteria specified in the Regulation.

Dam Consequence Classification Conversion Information Sheet, March 27th, 2012 (pdf 150kb)

Dam Failure Consequence Classification Conversion Guideline for dams in British Columbia, BC Reg. 163/2011.

Response to the Deputy Solicitor General's recommendations to strengthen the Dam Safety Program and ensure compliance and enforcement:

Rapid Dam Assessment Video clip (Premier's Award Regional Finalist April - 2012
(you-tube 2:28)

Response to Recommendations (October 14th, 2010) (pdf 1.5mb)

Information Bulletin (October 14th, 2010)

Deputy Solicitor General's Recommendations:

Review of the Testalinden Dam Failure (July 2010) (pdf 1.1mb)

Guidelines and Information for Dam Owners:

Dam Safety Review (DSR) Guideline:

A DSR is a comprehensive, formal review carried out in intervals as shown in Schedule 2 of the BC Dam Safety Regulation.

             Instructions (pdf145kb) ....HFMM (excel 245kb)....Framework (pdf 1mb)


Check Lists:



  • Consequence of Failure Classification: A guide for initial assessment (pdf 67kb)
  • Inspection & Maintenance of Dams Updated April, 2011 ( 6MB)
  • Plan Submission Guidelines Updated May, 2013 (pdf 400kb)

  • Templates & Lists:


    • Dams of British Columbia displayed in iMap BC's Geographic Gateway
    • BC Dams google In Google Earth.

      Note: in order to run BC Dam Google Earth program, you must save the file to your computer, you may open the file from the dialogue box which will appear once the download is complete. The latest version of Google Earth is required.

    Other B.C. Web Links:

    Links to Neighbouring Dam Safety Programs:

    State of Washington - Dam Safety



    Major Hydro Dam Owners

    BC Hydro

    Rio Tinto Alcan


    Teck (formerly Cominco)