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The original Aswan Dam in Egypt

Dams and barrages

Mott MacDonald is a leading provider of dam engineering services with a growing portfolio of projects. We've been engaged in the study, design and construction of major dams and barrages for over 80 years and have undertaken dam projects covering all forms of dam construction.

The dam
Tarbela Dam extension, Pakistan
Tarbela Dam extension, Pakistan We provided leading-edge skills in tunnelling, power generation, transmission, irrigation and community engagement to harness an existing resource. At the design stage, we applied rigorous value engineering to a third party design concept to realise 40% more power using available water resources, increasing capacity to 1.4GW.

We are currently engaged on reservoir projects in 15 countries ranging from small-scale diversion weirs to massive hydropower dams.

In the UK we are actively involved in undertaking statutory inspections, dam breach analysis and flood inundation mapping together with the design and supervision of both new build and remedial works projects at existing reservoirs.

Range of services

  • Water resources planning and hydrological analysis
  • Hydraulic engineering and modelling
  • Dam breach analysis
  • Flood inundation modelling and risk assessments
  • GIS mapping and digital terrain modelling
  • Analysis of remote sensing data, including LiDAR surveys
  • Geotechnical engineering including materials and site investigations
  • Hydropower design and optimisation
  • Slope stability and seepage analysis
  • Environmental impact scoping and detailed studies
  • Feasibility studies, value engineering, detailed design and construction supervision
  • Statutory inspections and certification of safety works

Weirs and barrages

We undertake all aspects of barrage engineering including planning, site investigations, model and sedimentation studies, economic appraisal and outline design through to detailed design and implementation.

Concrete dams

Mott MacDonald has been involved in the design and construction of many concrete dams throughout the world including conventional mass gravity structures and arch dam.


The rehabilitation of existing dams has become increasingly important and Mott MacDonald offers a comprehensive service to cover all aspects of this work.

Environmental studies and impact assessments

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an integral part of the planning and design of new reservoir developments. EIAs are a pre-requisite to obtaining planning permission or funding for developments in most countries globally, whether driven by national legislation and regulations or by the policy of a major lending institution.

Dam safety – inspections and emergency planning

We've undertaken dam inspection and safety assessments for UK reservoirs since the introduction of the Reservoirs Act. Our engineers qualified as ‘All Reservoir Panel Engineers’ undertake many inspections each year and have provided services to water companies, power utilities and the Environment Agency, and for many private owners.

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