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Dr.-Ing. Herbert Lütkestratkötter

Chairman of the German Committee on Large Dams

Welcome Address

The Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) for the first time since the foundation of ICOLD takes place in Germany from September 9 to 15, 2001.

The German National Committee of ICOLD (DTK) and the beautiful city of Dresden have prepared themselves to receive international guests from 80 member countries of ICOLD. DTK has prepared a programme to allow for extensive discussion of state of the art in all dam-related matters during workshops, a symposium, study tours and other events.

An important get-together will be the symposium "Benefits and Concerns about Dams". In November 2000, the World Commission on Dams (WCD) published its final report. This report is largely critical about dams designed, constructed and operated in the past. The report in turn suggests a set of rules which need further discussion and which have to a major extent not been applied in practice so far.

To allow for an extensive discussion and to address the subject from all possible perspectives, DTK has invited speakers from all over the world to the symposium to represent stakeholders in dams. The first session will concentrate on the views by multi-national organisations, governments and NGO’s. The introductions to this session will be given by Prof. Kader Asmal, former chairman of WCD.

This will be followed by presentations by ICOLD representatives and reports from individual countries in which design and construction of dams are of major importance.

So far, WCD has presented their report in a number of countries. The symposium in Dresden, however, offers a unique opportunity for the first time since the publication of WCD’s final report to discuss the report with an international audience.

To secure an optimum outcome from such discussion, DTK as the organisers of Dresden Annual Meeting and the symposium have not only invited supporters but also organisations and individuals having a critical stand towards dams.

There are many countries where water resources related problems can only be solved through dam construction. Dam construction, however, more and more does not only touch technical and economic aspects. Dams and reservoirs without any doubt have an influence on both natural and social environment. These so-called soft factors more and more have to be taken into consideration when talking about design, construction and operation of dams.

We at DTK are convinced that the Dresden Symposium will be a major contribution to development of rules for integration of dams into water resources management and natural and social environment.

On behalf of DTK I wish to invite stakeholders from all over the world to come to Dresden to listen to the presentations and to make their remarks and contributions.