Wednesday, 05 June 2024 14:25

Dam Safety

Written by  Staff Reporters

The new Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2022 came into force in May, covering dams of a certain height and volume threshold.

Those dams will need a Potential Impact Classification, certified by a recognised engineer, to assess what impact a dam failure could have on the community, major infrastructure, historic or cultural places and the environment.

The regulations have been made to increase dam resilience and safety, and provide a nationally consistent risk-based approach, says Marlborough District Council Building Control Group Manager Dhyanom Gala.

The Government has recently made a change to the thresholds to reduce the number of dams that need to be classified, meaning it now affects dams that are four or more metres in height and store 20,000 or more cubic metres.

Dams that are one or more metres in height and store 40,000 or more cubic metres no longer need to be classified.

Sonia Mason, from WSP Blenheim, says there has been a lot of regulatory change for farmers and growers in the past several years, and "regulatory fatigue" is common in the rural sector.

Some operators have greater capaity than others to understand and prepare for the changes, but the wine sector is well supported by regulatory bodies, including New Zealand Winegrowers, "and as it has in the past, the industry will no doubt respond positively to the changes".

Sonia notes that one challenge will be having enough recognised engineers to carry out the certifications.

The MDC website is now live for lodging Dam Classification Certificate Applications at

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