Gary Hargraves, Russ McConnell and John Ruffini
The acceptance of the use of generalised methods for estimating extreme rainfall has resulted in a growth of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) estimates that spillways of dams are required to pass. In many cases spillways were not designed with spare capacity and are incapable of safely passing the new PMF estimates. Dealing effectively with the potential for dams to cause damage and loss requires a risk management approach. Such an approach requires more reliable tools for estimation of rainfall. This paper examines the issues, the progress made, and outlines further work and options for clarifying risk.
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S. Knight, B. Cooper and P. van Breda
Warragamba Dam was completed in 1960 and impounds Sydney’s main water supply storage. Hydrological studies in the 1980’s showed the existing spillway to be significantly undersized by modern standards. Considering the dam’s High Incremental Flood Hazard category, the current risk of dambreak is unacceptably high. This has resulted in a two-stage program to upgrade the dam to full Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) capability.
The interim (first stage) measures were completed in 1990 and involved a 5.1 metre raising of the dam crest and significant post-tensioning of the dam wall. Following many feasibility/option studies and detailed technical and environmental studies, a contract was let by Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) in late 1998 for the construction of an auxiliary spillway as the major (second stage) component of the flood security upgrading. The spillway will be a large capacity (about 18,000m*/s) concrete lined chute 700 metres long around the dam’s right abutment. In the upper curved section will be the largest fuse plug embankments in Australia (up to 14.5 metres high). The lower straight section will terminate with a flip bucket structure.
The NSW Department of Public Works and Services (DPWS) designed the earlier Interim Works, undertook the subsequent engineering option studies for the Major Works and carried out the concept design and technical specification for the new auxiliary spillway and associated dam modification works. This paper summarises the project, describes the main features of the concept design of the spillway and outlines the associated dam modifications.
The paper outlines the integration of Environmental Risk Management in Goulburn- Murray Water with previous work on Dam Safety, Business and Occupational Health and Safety risks. This has now been followed by the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) to provide an environmental risk management framework for the whole Authority.
An Environmental Audit in 1997 identified deficiencies in some areas of environmental management and questioned the Authority’s ability to demonstrate due diligence. This led to a decision to develop and implement an EMS based on the International Standard ISO 14001.
Examination of Goulburn-Murray Water activities, associated environmental aspects and impacts, (and the consequences arising), led to the establishment ofan environmental risk register. Analysis and assessment of the risks to produce a ranking Jrom low to very high is described. Refinement to a significant risk register (high and very high risks), and consolidation into a list of generic risks based on major activities, functions and asset categories is described.
Based on this risk profile for the Authority, the Environmental Policy and Objectives were revised, and a methodology for identifying Environmental Targets was developed. Environmental Risk reduction is then delivered through the implementation of target driven Environmental Management Programs (EMPs).
Major system elements described include an emergency response plan, a legal register, an authority / responsibility matrix, a document control system, procedures, forms, training, auditing, and reporting.
The paper describes some of the practical issues encountered and the lessons learned with a focus on the activities of the Headworks Business. A prospective view of implementation and culture change issues is given.
Jim Walker, Murray Gillon and John Grimston
Karapiro Dam is at the end of a cascade of hydropower dams on the Waikato River in New Zealand’s North Island. The 52m high, high hazard, arch dam retains the lake for a 96MW power station at its downstream toe. Safety reviews recommended a re-evaluation of the dam stability under seismic loading.
Dam owner, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ), commissioned consultants Tonkin & Taylor Ltd to carry out a series of studies and investigations which provided better understanding of the dam’s safety status. Investigations located a previously unrecorded continuous low strength thrust fault underlying the left abutment. This provided the potential for movement of the left abutment gravity blocks under earthquake loading, with adverse effects on arch dam and reservoir safety. Investigations showed the abutment cut off walls to be lower than the PMF lake level. High groundwater levels and erodible pumiceous soils were found at the left abutment. These findings prompted ECNZ to implement stability enhancement works.
This paper describes the studies and investigations, peer review process, and design and construction of enhancement works.
Peter Allen, Don Cock, Garry Grant and John Ruffini
The paper examines the performance of the Brisbane River and Pine River real time flood management system for the operation of Somerset Dam, Wivenhoe Dam and North Pine Dam during the 1999 flood event.
The February flood event, which was about 80% of the magnitude of the disastrous 1974 flood event upstream of Wivenhoe Dam, was the first major flood event to be managed by the system and it performed very creditably. The overall flood management system comprises:-
A network of 125 ALERT type rainfall and river height stations throughout the catchment; A data management system to facilitate data collection and data validation;
The paper describes the system and gives details of the performance of the system during the February event. It details the performance of the dams during the event and how this was optimised to maximise the safety of the dams and minimise impacts on those downstream.
The role of judgement in risk assessments as applied in dam safety management has been the source of considerable debate in recent years. With regard to risk analysis of dams, and while there is general agreement that judgement is an essential element of the process, essentially two schools of thought have emerged. One view holds that, in the assignment of probabilities, reliance can be based on collective engineering judgement that is anchored to a knowledge base. The second view holds that judgement should be based on the knowledge that is revealed by an appropriate amount of analysis. The paper, written from the perspective of the latter view, explores some of the underlying issues in this debate.
The role of judgement in risk evaluation, the process of judging the significance of risk, is considered to be equally important. However, the process of making value judgements and statements of principles is complex and often beyond the sphere of engineering. The third issue addressed in the paper concerns the search for answers to the question, “How good is the assessment?”