BRE - Bibliography of British dams A companion to the Register of British dams

Organization: BRE
Publication Date: 1 January 1996
Page Count: 55

The Bibliography of British dams lists published works which provide information on dams in Great Britain. It contains papers which have been published in journals and conference proceedings and some important books have also been listed. Unpublished reports and short news items in magazines have not been included.

The Reservoirs Act 1975 together with a number of Statutory Instruments provides the legal framework within which qualified civil engineers make technical decisions relating to the safety of reservoirs and Information for Reservoir Panel Engineers [567], published by the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1995, gives guidance on these matters and lists the Statutory Instruments. The Bibliography of British dams is essentially concerned with dams to which the Reservoirs Act 1975 applies and therefore it does not generally include dams which impound reservoirs with a storage capacity smaller than 25000 cubic metres or which impound fluids other than "water as such".

Although the bibliography is basically confined to Great Britain and does not include Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some publications which refer to dams in these locations have been included because of their significance for the safety of dams in Great Britain. For example the paper published by Bateman in 1848 on the Bann reservoirs in County Down in Northern Ireland [494] has been listed as it is one of the few early papers which describes puddle clay core embankment dams.

Where publications concerning dams in Great Britain that are not within the ambit of the Reservoirs Act 1975 are relevant to the safety of dams currently within the ambit of the Reservoirs Act 1975, they have been included in the Bibliography. This includes dams where the storage capacity of the reservoir has been reduced to take it outside the Act. Also there are also a number of instructive case histories involving dams that have failed.

The Bibliography only includes publications which have some relevance to dam construction, performance or safety. Publications which deal exclusively with environmental, recreational or social matters have not been included.

The main purpose of the Bibliography is to list publications which provide information about specific dams although some more general documents, such as the various engineering guides, have been included. Publications which do not deal specifically with a particular dam in Great Britain can be located through the subject index in section 5.

One question which had to be addressed in compiling the Bibliography related to the amount of information about a specific dam in a particular publication which would warrant inclusion of that publication in the dam index. It was not possible to be completely consistent, but the policy which was adopted can be summarised as follows.

Where there are many detailed publications available for a dam, those publications which provide very little information about the dam do not appear in the index. Where there is little published information about a dam, publications with only a small amount of information are included in the index.

A bibliography is of limited value if copies of the publications which it lists are not readily obtainable. Consequently, in compiling the Bibliography of British dams, only publications which, it was believed, could be obtained without undue difficulty were included. This means that publications of the type that appear in the proceedings of local historical societies generally have not been included. The vast majority of the publications listed in the bibliography can be found in the library of the Institution of Civil Engineers.