Dam safety is a matter of significant importance in many countries in the world today because of the presence of a large number of dams, existing, under construction or planned. The safe operation of dams has significant social, economic, and environmental relevance.
When the World Bank finances new dams, Operational Policy (OP) 4.37: Safety on Dams requires that experienced and competent professionals design and supervise construction, and that the borrower adopts and implements dam safety measures through the project cycle. The policy also applies to existing dams where they influence the performance of a project. In this case, a dam safety assessment should be carried out and necessary additional dam safety measures implemented.
OP 4.37 recommends, where appropriate, that Bank staff discuss with the borrowers any measures necessary to strengthen the institutional, legislative, and regulatory frameworks for dam safety programs in those countries.