The Commission accomplishes its objectives by:

  1. interchanging information among its National Committees;
  2. holding executive and technical meetings; These meetings are organised by National Committees and are followed by study tours where problems of design and construction of dams are discussed;
  3. organising and co-ordinating studies and research;
  4. publishing proceedings, reports, technical bulletins or other documents such as the World Register of Dams (Register of large dams in ICOLD Member Countries).

Methods to achieve ICOLD objectives are:

  1. Executive Meeting, with representatives of every National Committee and Officers, meets annually;
  2. ICOLD Officers, Technical, Administrative and Ad Hoc Committees meet annually or more often, if needed;
  3. Congresses are organized every three years: The Montreal Congress in 2003 was the 21st Congress of ICOLD;
  4. Technical Symposia and Workshops are organized every non-Congress year;
  5. Regional Clubs of ICOLD: Africa-Australasia, Americas, Asian, Balkans and European.

ICOLD has numerous Technical Committees that address current technical issues related to the development and management of water resources. Technical Bulletins (Reports) are regularly published and they are available for purchase. The World Register of Dams, updated in 2003, is available for purchase on ICOLD websites. Every National Committee receives a free password to have access to the Register. Information on these publications is given on the ICOLD Catalogue available on the ICOLD website.

Participating in an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance of dams and their safety and the decommissioning of dams are just some of the benefits of ICOLD membership.

Working within Technical Committees that address emerging issues such as monitoring performance of dams, re-analysis of older dams and spillways, environmental and social impacts and mitigation effects of aging and decommissioning of dams.

Promoting public awareness of the beneficial role of dams in the sustainable development and management of the world’s water resources.

The amount of the annual membership fee is determined from the position of the applicant country on the scale of Assessment adopted by the United Nations and from the total number of large dams completed in the applicant country. At present, the annual membership fee currently varies between 800 and 15 000 Euros. Application for membership is made to the ICOLD Secretary General. SANCOLD is willing to assist any country in the application for ICOLD membership.