ANCOLD guidelines are applicable for water or tailings dams with the potential to cause loss of life or significant environmental or physical damage through operation or failure. Although prepared for dams which would normally be at least 10 to 15m high ANCOLD guidelines can also be used to assist with decisions on smaller dams, particularly where a dam or series or dams creates the potential for loss of life or significant damage.
ANCOLD guidelines are not a design, construction or operation code and practitioners must apply their own considerations, judgements and professional skills when designing, operating and managing dams.
As time goes on there will be improvement in contemporary dam practice and it is intended that ANCOLD guidelines will be updated as circumstances dictate. ANCOLD welcomes comments which will assist with future revisions.
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Attention members: Log in to the website and receive complimentary postage to Australian addresses.Disclaimer: To the maximum permitted by law, each of, ANCOLD Incorporated and its Members, the Convenor and Members of the Working Group which developed these Guidelines, and the Independent Reviewers of these Guidelines exclude all liability to any person arising directly or indirectly from that person using this publication or any information or material contained within it. Any person acting on anything contained in, or omitted from, these Guidelines accepts all risks and responsibilities for losses, damages, costs and other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from such use and should seek appropriate professional advice prior to acting on anything contained in the Guidelines.
This document has been prepared as a companion to the 2001 ANCOLD Guidelines on the Environmental Management of Dams. Since the 2001 guidelines were published much has been learnt about the critical issues that drive environmental concerns for both dam practitioners and the broader community arising from the construction of new dams, dam upgrades or altered operational strategies. The objective of this companion volume to the 2001 Environmental Guideline is to increase environmental awareness by encouraging more sustainable planning, design, construction and operation inputs to large dams. As such this companion volume complements rather than replaces the existing 2001 guideline. This companion volume focuses on:
Describing the complex Commonwealth and individual State regulatory environments that must be dealt with in all dam projects;
Discussing key issues surrounding the practices for effective stakeholder and community consultation;
Considering risk assessment for environmental matters associated directly with construction and operation, as well as the broader and more complex regulatory concerns of cumulative and consequential impacts; and
Providing a series of technical Practice Notes on a range of environmental issues that dam owners/ operators need to be aware of in all dam projects
A series of Practice Notes has been presented in Part B setting out a brief overview of current knowledge on a range of technical and operational matters of interest to dam owners/operators. These are not exhaustive reviews of current knowledge but rather serve to raise a level of awareness on a range of issues that need to be considered at the various stages of planning, constructing, operating and decommissioning a storage with respect to environmental concerns.
The 2014 Guidelines are intended to be regularly updated to reflect the changing regulatory environment as well as increasing technical knowledge about environmental management.
The two guidelines should be regarded as companion volumes for reference, with the 2014 Guidelines providing a targeted and practical environmental perspective.
The Technical Working Group set out to make these Guidelines simple and straightforward, avoiding scientific and technical jargon so as to appeal to the broader audience it targets. I take this opportunity to thank the members of the working group for their efforts in bringing this document to fruition.
The Guidelines are not a ‘rule book’ but rather a document to raise awareness of significant environmental matters to be considered by all dam owners/operators. ANCOLD welcomes comments on these Guidelines for inclusion in future editions.Read More
Within about ten years of the 1991 edition of the ANCOLD Guidelines on Design Criteria for Concrete Gravity Dams being published the Limit State design approach it proposed fell out of favour with Australian dam engineers. The ANCOLD Executive recognised this situation and resolved that the Guidelines be revised to reflect the preferred design approach amongst Australian dam engineers. A Working Group and a separate Expert Review Panel were formed in 2005 to review the Guidelines with the intention of preparing a document that was not only more in line with the current thinking but would also be widely adopted and used by practicing dam engineers.
It has not been an easy task for the Working Group and the Expert Review Panel. Although the working stress method, with associated Factors of Safety, approach was agreed amongst the team, it took considerable time and effort to reach consensus on the details, in particular chapters four through to six. The issue that took most effort to resolve was how the Factors of Safety relate to the level of certainty of the inputs, including knowledge of the foundations, loads, strength of materials and assumed mechanically feasible failure surfaces. The notes to Table 6.4.1 and the discussion in Appendix A highlight this issue.
One thing the drafting team agreed on early, and unanimously, was the importance of the concrete gravity dam design team having a thorough understanding of the foundation conditions, the development of a detailed geological model of the foundations and an understanding of the kinematically feasible failure mechanisms. In keeping with this principle, this revision of the guidelines has the section on foundations at the front of the document. There is a strong recommendation that the design team has expertise covering foundation geology and rock mechanics as well as the dam engineer.
These Guidelines provide a basis for design of concrete gravity dams in most situations. However, they require that the user will be a professional dam engineer with significant experience who is able to use sound engineering judgement in the application of the guidelines. It is recommended that less experienced dam engineers using these guidelines do so under the advice and guidance of an experienced dam engineer. It is the dam engineer who is responsible for the design.
On behalf of ANCOLD I would like to thank the members of the working group and all the other contributors that persevered in developing and bringing these Guidelines to fruition. They will be of great assistance to dam engineering professionals both within Australia and internationally.Ian Landon-Jones Chairman, ANCOLD Read More
ANCOLD produced their Guidelines on Tailings Dam Design, Construction and Operation in 1999. Since that time the publication has been widely used within Australia and internationally where the expertise of Australian practice has been recognised.
In the ten years since the release these Guidelines there has been considerable increase in the recognition of environmental responsibilities by the mining industry and its regulators, particularly in addressing the concept of sustainable mining. This has culminated in Australia with the release of “Tailings Management” one of a series of publications outlining Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry published by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR).
ANCOLD has prepared these new guidelines to provide a single base document that supports the DITR publication and others like it, with engineering detail that can be accepted by all relevant government authorities, and national and international companies involved in tailings dam development, allowing them to undertake design and construction consistent with leading industry practice. The new guidelines include much of the original guidelines but with appropriate updating. There is considerable new information on designing for closure and on the use of risk assessment techniques to assist in design and management.
These guidelines are not a design, construction or operation code, and dams personnel must continue to apply their own considerations, judgements and professional skills when designing and managing tailings dams. As time goes on there will no doubt be improvement in contemporary tailings dam practice and it is intended that these guidelines will be updated as circumstances dictate. ANCOLD welcomes comments on these guidelines which will assist with future revisions.Read More
The Watching Brief Guidelines for Dam Instrumentation and Monitoring Systems (1983), established following the Dam Instrumentation Workshop in Sydney, continues to scan for information and topical developments related to the monitoring of dams using a range of instrumentation techniques. A position paper outlining the current status for the Executive is planned for 2013 and will provide a mechanism to move forward on the need for an updated guideline.
Members wishing to contribute papers, views, or information to the watching brief should contact Chris Topham via the ANCOLD secretariat email@example.com.Read More
ANCOLD has prepared these important Guidelines to provide a consistent method of categorising the consequences of dam failure so that resources can be allocated according to the potential effects of failure on the general community.
These Guidelines replace the ANCOLD Guidelines on the Assessment of the Consequences of Dam Failure issued in May 2000 and follow a similar approach. However, they include quite significant changes aimed at providing enhanced description of Consequence Categories and making them easier and more consistent to use.
The Technical Working Group has made every effort to make these Guidelines straightforward to use by professional engineers and consistent with other ANCOLD guidelines.
However the complexity of determining the various parameters that make up each Consequence Category means that only experienced dam engineering professionals should interpret and use these Guidelines when making decisions that could impact on community safety, community cost and services, infrastructure, natural environment, heritage, and the owner’s and other businesses.Read More
In Australia we have a very diverse portfolio of dams, some regarded as being designed and constructed before there was a good understanding of the loading conditions that could apply. Sometimes there is limited knowledge of the actual details of construction and always there is a desire to ensure that the community’s resources are properly applied. The difficulty facing those who allocate funds for the benefit of the community measure the cost against the benefit achieved and to compare that with opportunities available.
Risk Assessment gives us the tools to estimate the likelihood of a circumstance occurring and of its consequences. It also gives us the tools to estimate what these will be after any improvement. These tools are diverse and can be imprecise. As time goes on our methods will improve but chance and circumstance will always be with us. But, if we use consistent methods, we will generally be able to rank the possible outcomes and compare them, in scale, with others.
ANCOLD is aware of the diversity of dams and the circumstance associated with them and offers this document merely as an indicator of the approach that may be taken. Nevertheless we hope that its adoption will lead to greater comparability between individual workers.Read More
These dam safety guidelines are intended to apply to what might be termed conventional dams (eg. for water supply, irrigation, power and flood mitigation). Guidelines for dam safety management of tailings dams are published separately.
These guidelines have been developed by ANCOLD with the aim of promoting appropriate dam safety management practices in Australia. It is recognised that circumstances vary enormously from dam to dam and different administrative frameworks apply in each state. Some states have specific dam legislation while other rely on more general provisions. For these reasons, ANCOLD puts this guideline forward as an advisory document that must be interpreted by appropriately qualified and experienced professionals in each case. In no sense is it intended that they should be regarded as a standard.
The guidelines will again be reviewed when knowledge and practice have developed to the point where an upgrade is required. With this in mind, comment from users and others is welcomed.Read More
The application of risk assessment involves a major philosophical addition to, and enhancement of the deterministic standards developed over many years for appropriate safety of dams. These guidelines are issued to provide more appropriate and consistent guidance within a risk process, for dam safety evaluation under floods. In applying them, it must be remembered that they are guidelines only to what is considered current acceptable practice and allow owners and practitioners flexibility to exercise professional judgment in all aspects. Indeed, without the application of such judgment, the procedures themselves could lead to results that have serious shortcomings.
This is a rapidly developing area with ongoing research in many related aspects. In view of this ANCOLD will review the guidelines periodically and, to that end, seek comments from users at every opportunity.Read More
The ANCOLD Guideline brings together improved appraisals of the earthquake loadings that a dam may suffer and then describes appropriate methods for analysis and evaluation. Whilst specific to the Australian considerations the majority of this guideline could be applied to dam structures throughout the world. The ICOLD Bulletins No 46. (1983), No 62. (1988) and No 72. (1989) are parallel documents in this regard, although not including recent advances.
This guideline is not a design code, and dam designers must continue to apply their own considerations, judgements and professional skills when designing dams to resist earthquakes. As time goes on there will no doubt be improved data and design tools to help the designer and it is intended that this guideline will be updated as circumstances dictate. ANCOLD welcomes contributions to discussion on this guideline which will assist with future revisions.Read More