A dam owner is often surprised to learn that his dam has been listed on a heritage register. This is often the first indication that the dam has heritage significance.
This paper discusses the different types of heritage listing and what the implications are for an owner. It suggests that a prudent owner will find out whether he needs a heritage conservation plan, particularly where redevelopment or remedial work at the dam is contemplated. The paper describes the content of a typical conservation plan for a large dam and how it is implemented.
I A Howley, G S Smith and D J A Stewart
Over the past decade the role of dam ownership in Victoria, and indeed Australia, has changed from one of owners, constructors and operators of large civil assets, to managers of structures on behalf of owners of the entitlements to water. This is part of the key business focus to dams management in Victoria.
This position has been heavily influenced by regional water reform policies, such as the Murray Darling Cap, and its effects in Northern Victoria, and COAG Agreements.
Dam owners now run service driven businesses, with a clear separation of roles and responsibilities from the traditional, engineering focused organisations which were established in an environment of resource development. The environment is now one of maintenance, service delivery, structure maintenance and long term business viability for ultimate community benefit.
By using Goulburn-Murray Water as an example, the current model of dams management in Victoria is outlined, together with possible future directions for the rural water industry in Victoria.
Kurt Douglas, Matt Spannagle and Robin Fell
This paper describes a method for estimating the probability of failure of concrete and masonry gravity dams through the dam or the foundation. The method is based on the research and analysis of historic failures and accidents performed at The University of New South Wales over the last two years. The method accounts for dam type; age; foundation; height/width ratio; dam performance observations; and monitoring and surveillance.
M O’Reilly, S A L Read and P F Foster
Electronic (bubble) tiltmeters provide an up-to-date technique for continuously monitoring the deformations of dam and dam-related structures. Tiltmeters, with a sensitivity of (10Imm per length), are currently used in New Zealand at the high concrete gravity Waitaki Dam, and the Ohau A Powerhouse, as well as a short-term installation in the high concrete gravity Aviemore Dam.
This paper outlines the performance of the tiltmeters over a period of up to 7 years. They have been used to monitor the reactions of structures to loading changes such as headwater level variation, and to monitor ongoing performance, including the definition of annual thermal cycles. The results are compared with other monitoring techniques (e.g. plumblines, conventional surveying) to illustrate the usefulness and applicability of tiltmeters to dam safety programmes, either in conjunction with standard monitoring options, or in particular where such options may not be practicable.
D.N.D. Hartford and R.A. Stewart
It seems perfectly logical, obviously desirable and apparently sensible to prioritise dam safety reviews, deficiency investigations and capitalised remediation projects in terms of risk. However, our experience in attempting to apply the various deterministic and risk- based approaches in prioritising dam safety activities has revealed that, while it may appear to be quite logical and desirable to prioritise in terms of risk, it is rather less feasible than it appears.
This paper explores why different prioritisation processes can lead to different priority rankings across the same portfolio of dams. B.C. Hydro’s Preliminary Risk Exposure Profile process, which utilises the best and most robust attributes of risk analysis process at the preliminary level but avoids the pitfalls associated with estimating risks which will often have little or even no basis is presented. The paper explains how this process provides a “fail-safe” backup which will identify non-conservative and erroneous facility risk estimates; thereby allowing for correction in a timely fashion. The paper also raises some awkward philosophical issues which the profession will have to address in order to permit confident dam safety decision-making on the basis of risk analyses. Not the least of these is the following issue – “If preliminary estimates of risk are reasonably good, then there should be little need for more detailed risk analysis for confident and defensible decisions concerning making or not making dam safety improvements”.
Mark Foster, Robin Fell and Matt Spannagle
This paper describes a method for estimating the probability of failure of embankment dams by piping. The so called “UNSW method” is based on the results of an analysis of historic failures and accidents of embankment dams. An estimate of the probability of failure of a dam by piping is made by adjusting the historical rates of failure by piping by applying weighting factors which take into account the dam zoning; filters; age of the dam; core soil types; compaction; foundation geology; dam performance; and monitoring and surveillance. The method is intended for preliminary assessments only and is ideally suited as a risk ranking method for portfolio type risk assessments to identify which dams to prioritise for more detailed studies and as a check on event tree methods.