Aerial view of Zeizoun area

Zeizoun Dam

The Zeizoun dam is situated on the Orontes river north of Hama in Syria and was originally constructed in 1996 with a capacity of 71 million³ and used for widespread irrigation in the Al-Ghab province.

On 4th June 2002 a failure occurred in the original dam which was completely destroyed and resulted in widespread flooding and damage. As part of the re-building program a new design with an extensive monitoring system is currently being implemented.

The new dam design includes a much deeper foundation which is intended to remove the weak strata identified as part of the reason for the failure. A grouting and monitoring gallery is included in the new design, which is located beneath the core foundation.


Project Summary

  • Name
  • Zeizoun Dam
  • Location
  • Syria
  • Date
  • 2010
  • Client
  • Directorate of Water Resources Hama Governorate
  • Contractor
  • General Company for Hydro Projects
  • Instrumentation Specialist
  • Al Mutawasset
  • Consultant
  • Agrocomplect SA, Bulgaria


The dam integrity is carried out by monitoring key areas as follows:

Main Dam Body

  • Pore water and total soil pressures, settlement and lateral movement within the core. Seismic response of the crest


New Dam Foundation

  • Water levels under the downstream shoulder
  • Groundwater levels beyond the dam toe


Existing Dam Body

  • Pore water pressures within the core


Reservoir Level

  • Water level, pressure and loading


Dam Abutments

  • Groundwater levels


New/Existing Dam Connection

  • Joint movements



  • Seepage
  • Joint movements New/Existing Dam Body Surface movements Downstream Open Channels Water level and flow