Guideline News & Update info

Guidelines on Dam Safety Management (2003)

The Queensland Dam Safety Regulator for water dams is now;

Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply

Water Planning and Regulation

PO Box 15456, City East QLD 4002

[email protected]


November 2015 – Guidelines on Concrete Faced Rockfill Dams (1991)

Whilst the Concrete Faced Rockfill Dams Guideline (1991) was well written and representative of the state of knowledge at the time it now contains a few potentially misleading statements and some sections are now outdated.

There are now better references available for Dam Engineers involved in CFRDs.

In addition there are few CFRDs being constructed in Australia now.

For these reasons ANCOLD has decided not to update the old CFRD guideline and will withdraw it from sale.

ANCOLD suggests that the following references may be useful to refer to instead. There would also be other useful references such as more recent Chinese Symposium volumes.

  • Concrete Face Rockfill Dams, P.T. Cruz, B. Materon and M. Freitas. CRC Press, 2009.
  • Fell, R., MacGregor, P., Stapledon, D, Bell, G, and Foster, M. (2013). Geotechnical Engineering of Dams, Second Edition. Taylor Francis.
  • ICOLD Bulletin 141, Concrete Face Rockfill Dams, Concepts for Design and Construction. ICOLD, Paris.
  • J. Barry Cooke Volume, Concrete Face Rockfill dams. Chinese Committee on Large Dams, Beijing, September 2000.
  • Proceedings, International Symposium on Concrete Face Rockfill Dams, September 2000, International Commission on Large Dams, Paris.
  • Proceedings, Second Symposium on Concrete Face Rockfill Dams, Comite Brasileiro de Barragens, Rio de Janeiro, October 1999.


October 2015 – Guidelines on the Consequence Categories for Dams (2012)

A review has been undertaken into the rationale behind the change in the category of two orders of magnitude for ‘Medium’ Severity of Damage and Potential Loss of Life from ≥1 to <50 with a subsequent change in Category from High C to High A. The review concluded that there was justification for the threshold of PLL ≥5 to <50 and within the range 5 to 10 with ‘Medium’ severity of damage, that the category could be reduced to High B. For PLL ≥ 10, the category will remain at High A. The revised Table 4 and associated notes below should replace the existing Table 4 and Note 1 of the September 2012 Guidelines on the Consequence Category for Dams.

TABLE 4  – (As revised October 2015)


Potential Loss of Life (PLL) Severity of Damage and Loss
Minor Medium Major Catastrophic
<0.1 Very Low Low Significant High C
≥0.1 to <1 Significant Significant High C High B
≥1 to <5 (Note 1) High C High B High A
≥5 to <50 High A(Note 2) High A Extreme
≥50 (Note 1) Extreme Extreme

Note 1:  With a PLL equal to or greater than one (1), it is unlikely Damage will be minor. Similarly with a PLL in excess of 50 it is unlikely Damage will be classified as Medium.

Note 2: Where PLL is in the range ≥5 to<10, the Category level can be reduced to High B.


 July 2014 – Guidelines on the Environmental Management of Dams (2001)

PLEASE NOTE: The 2014 ANCOLD publication titled ‘Regulation and Practice for the Environmental Management of Dams in Australia’ has been produced that supplements these ‘Guidelines on the Environmental Management of Dams (2001)’.

The 2014 document extends and complements the scope of the 2001 Guidelines by focusing on current investigation and regulatory approval processes. Additionally, it provides a series of Practice Notes in Section B that document current knowledge on a range of key environmental issues of concern to dam owners/operators.

The new document does however supersede and/or update some of the material in the 2001 guideline. The significant relevant areas are as follows:

• Section 2 (2014) expands and updates Section 3 (2001)

• Section 3 (2014) supersedes Section 5.6 (2001)

• Section 4 (2014) supersedes Section 5.5 and Appendix E (2001)

• Section 5 (2014) largely supersedes Sections 5.2 and 5.7 (2001).


ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment, 2003 – Errata

Please note the following corrections to the guidelines:

  • in Guideline G10-1, page 46, right column, at 0.6 down, the following was inadvertently deleted after “wherein it was held that:”

“Reasonably practicable” is a narrower term than “physically possible” and seems to me to imply that a computation must be made by the owner in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time or trouble) is placed on the other, and that if it be shown that there is a gross disproportion between them – the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice – the defendants discharge the onus on them.

This is the quote from the judgement in the Edwards versus The National Coal Board case of 1949 in the United Kingdom.

  • on Fig. 7.5, page 48, label to the y-axis, insert “N” after “>”.