Dam Safety and Control: The New MIT Regulation


Emma Potter

Interventions on existing dams and supervision of diversion works

For the first time, the new regulation includes specific regulation for interventions on existing dams and introduces a system of supervision of derivation works.

Alignment with the new Contracts Code

The regulation aligns with the new Public Contracts Code, introducing two new design levels for public works.

This integration is aimed at improve the quality and efficiency of projectsensuring that all phases, from planning to implementation, are compliant with standards higher levels of safety and quality.

Attention classes

One of the most significant innovations of the new regulation is the introduction of the “attention classes” for retention systems and diversion works. This system allows for the grading of controls and supervision based on the complexity and risk associated with each work.

In this way, the safety of the 530 large dams supervised by the state and makes the approval process for new dams more efficient.

Maintenance and safety of existing dams

The new regulation is of particular relevance given that many of the existing dams require maintenance and interventions to increase safety, considering theaverage age of the structures.

The standard incorporates the latest technological innovations in the sectorensuring that established practices and best knowledge are maintained and developed.

Reference for the Regions and Autonomous Provinces

The regulation not only regulates large dams but also serves as a point of reference for the regions, which will be able to update the regulations applicable to “small dams”.

Coordination with Regions and Autonomous Provinces will ensure uniformity and coherence in the management of water resources and in the safety of infrastructures. This uniformity is essential for efficient and safe management of water resources at the national level.

Approval and control procedures

The regulation governs the technical approval procedure for projects, the control of the construction and operation of retention systems having the following characteristics: dimensional characteristics specified by the Legislative Decree 8 August 1994, n. 507. Furthermore, it covers the diversion works fed by such plants, both with and without return to the riverbed.

Functions of the General Management

The identification and methods of carrying out the functions assigned to the General directionconcerning the safety and surveillance aspects arising from the construction, operation, decommissioning, conservation and maintenance of the works under their jurisdiction.

This ensures that there is a adequate and continuous supervision on all the stages of the life cycle of dams.

Works excluded from the regulation

Are excluded from the application of the regulation:

  • dams intended exclusively for storage or decantation;
  • shunt expansion boxes;
  • navigation locks;
  • water tanks made with elevated or underground structures;
  • river dams and embankments;
  • residual works of disused dams;
  • works derived from systems not having the specified dimensional characteristics;
  • diversion works not carried out using retaining dams;
  • derivation works under the jurisdiction of the regions and autonomous provinces.