Garry Meinck, Chris Elliott and Tony Moulds
This paper describes the experiences of a former state statutory authority in the almost four years since it became corporatised to form a water utility with a fully commercial orientation and with a new board of management with a clear awareness of the responsibilities of corporate governance.
The need to commit to major remedial work at one of the principal dams focussed the Board’s attention on the safety status of all of the Corporation’s 56 referable dams.
In the absence of external dam safety regulation the Corporation has moved to satisfy its corporate governance responsibilities by adopting current best practice in dam safety. Key elements in this process were:
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ANCOLD Environmental Guidelines have been under preparation for a considerable time. A brief for their preparation followed a resolution by the ANCOLD executive in 1991] that:
“ANCOLD should be seen by the profession and the community as a credible and informed source of information on the risks and benefits associated with dam projects.”
Why the guidelines were initiated, why they have taken the time they have to prepare and what they cover are described in this paper.
To the author’s knowledge, they are the only guidelines of their type, addressing the environmental effects of dams and associated works. It is hoped that they generate substantive debate. This paper initiates the public comments phase.
The paper has two purposes:
° = To introduce the guidelines ° To use the guidelines to introduce this environmental issues session of this conference
Ungated spillways offer the safest form of spillway but they are more costly than gated spillways for the volume of water stored. Gated spillways offer a more cost-effective use of water by maximizing the storage capabilities of the dam. Gated spillways also lead to more cost effective new dams as well as increasing storage of existing dams. They can therefore offer considerable advantages but must not jeopardize dam safety. Most commonly used spillway gates are mechanically driven by electric or hydraulic systems reliant on external power supply and instrumentation, and usually require operators to control the systems. Unfortunately there is already a substantial record of these types of gates not operating when required, thereby placing the dam’s safety in jeopardy. The ideal is to have automatic gates which do not suffer the problems associated with mechanically-driven gates.
A number of automatic gates exist, some with differing degrees of success but most are not truly automatic in operation and suffer some limitations. A range of fully automatic water control equipment has been developed and has operated for more than 20 years in South Africa. Out of experience gained from this equipment, a new generation of spillway gates has been developed which meets nearly all the requirements of an ideal spillway gate.
This paper introduces the gates and examines their features and safety devices. Other benefits are also mentioned.
David S. Bowles, Loren R. Anderson, Joseph B. Evelyn, Terry F. Glover and David M. Van Dorpe
A demonstration risk assessment was conducted on the 283-foot high rolled-earthfill Alamo Dam as part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Research and Development program. The existing dam and 19 structural risk reduction alternatives were evaluated for flood, earthquake and normal operating conditions. The paper summarizes the risk assessment process, results, findings and recommendations. It also provides an evaluation of the risk assessment process and recommendations for better positioning the USACE to use risk assessment for dam safety evaluation and decision support.
Contracts are usually thought of as documents which set out the respective legal obligations of the contracting parties. If the focus is changed, however, away from closing legal loopholes to the use of contracts to achieving project management objectives, then, among other things, contracts may be drafted as an integral part of the risk management plan for particular infrastructure assets.
In this paper, where the emphasis is on dam projects, the principles of risk management are applied to contracts for construction, maintenance and surveillance and outsourced technical advice, thereby covering issues over the whole life cycle of the asset. The principles are then broader issues of project procurement. Such as selection of contractor, contract packaging, ,clauses within the contract and administration of the contract.
Brian Haisman, Clarke Ballard and Neville Garland
In early 1997 the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council instigated a review of the operations of its primary reservoirs, the Hume and Dartmouth Dams, in response to concerns of floodplain communities below the dams, coupled with changing community values in relation to the in-stream environmental effects of dams. The review, completed in May 1999, achieved a consensus between parties advocating what are on the surface irreconcilable objectives for the management of the water resource. Foremost competing objectives were flood mitigation, consumptive water use, and environmental health of the river system, plus subsidiary objectives related to recreation, hydro-electric generation, salinity management, tourism and the like. The keys to success were firstly, creation of a community-based Reference Panel which took on a steering role coupled with extensive consultation, and secondly a determination to describe situations wherever possible by means of factual information. The paper describes the identification and evaluation of issues, the consensus building process, the intensive hydrology and economic modelling undertaken, and the development of a comprehensive set of flow parameters which could be viewed as surrogates for environmental outcomes. Conclusions and recommendations are drawn for future reviews of similar dams.