Ignacio Escuder Bueno has been designated new President of the Spanish National Committee on Large Dams (SPANCOLD) for the next four years.
During an interview for IIAMA, research institute of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where he works as Tenured Professor, he explained that promoting knowledge exchange about the national dam system will be one of the main priorities, so that Spain continues to be positioned at the international forefront in this field.
“We want to be the reference in know-how exchange. Currently, many professionals are already retired, thus there is a generational gap that we must cover. In this sense, our main task is to transfer knowledge to the new generations, so that this know-how results in a good design operation and maintenance of our hydraulic works”, he affirmed.
The importance of the dam system in Spain and climate change
“Dams play an important role for social, economic and environmental development in Spain. Without the existing portfolio of dams in Spain, the country would be very different in terms of population, social and economic development. Our system would not be able to supply 46 million people, and sectors as critical as agriculture, industry and tourism would not be so developed”, he said.
Therefore, it is essential the correct conservation, maintenance and improvement of hydraulic infrastructures, since many dams were built more than 50 years ago, so they “need to adapt to the new legal context and the effects of climate change”.
“Dam-reservoir systems are crucial to mitigate the effects of floods and droughts, which will be more frequent and severe based on climate change predictions,” he concluded.
SPANCOLD is the Spanish National Committee of the International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD – CIGB). The International Commission of Large Dams (ICOLD-CIGB), which has its headquarters in Paris, was created in 1928 with the aim of working for the benefit of society, contributing its knowledge for the contribution of Civil Engineering to the development and the improvement of the quality of life. Five years later, in 1933, Spain joined the Commission.
Since then, the Spanish National Committee of Large Dams (SPANCOLD) has been working within ICOLD. Currently, SPANCOLD has 50 regular members and aprox. 400 collaborating members.