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.
Buddhima Indraratna, Mark Locke and Gamini Adikari
The main objectives of the filter are to prevent erosion of the dam core, permit controlled passage of seepage flow through the dam and facilitate dissipation of excess pore pressures in the core. In most designs of dam filters, empirical methods based on particle size ratios have been used. These empirical rules are developed through extensive laboratory tests. Although the empirical rules benefit from directly or indirectly incorporating most factors affecting filtration, they cannot be extrapolated for distinctly different soils and do not describe the time dependent changes that occur within the filter medium.
Mathematical models can be formulated to explain the fundamental physics of particle interaction and migration, within a framework of well defined geohydraulic constraints. Considering the mass flow and momentum conservation principles; time dependent changes in particle size distributions, mass flow rates, retention capacity and base soil erosion rates can be simulated.
This paper reviews various empirical and mathematical models, based on the authors experience. A novel approach to large scale filtration is highlighted based on testing actual soil and filter materials from an Australian dam, in a new 500mm diameter apparatus.
Michael Cawood, Roger Jones and Ken Durham
A methodology for local disaster management planning based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4360:1995 — Risk Management has been developed as an out-working of a Flood Risk Study for Murweh Shire. The methodology has relevance to all local governments, particularly in view of National Disaster Relief Arrangements (NDRA) that now link the extent of NDRA funding available for a re-occurring natural disaster event to the existence of disaster mitigation actions or plans. This places a premium on actions being taken by local governments to mitigate public safety risk at community level.
Dr Judy Henderson
Against a background of several decades of increasingly polarised and acrimonious debate, the World Commission on Dams (WCD) was established in 1998 with a two year mandate to review the development effectiveness of dams, assess alternatives for water resources and energy development and develop internationally acceptable criteria and guidelines for future decision- making. This report discusses the role of large dams in development and the challenges of water resource management in the future. T the work program of the WCD is outlined and progress to date on fulfilling its mandate.
Robert E Saunders
The vast majority of dams in Australia are relatively small affairs. For example, approximately 90% of Queensland’ referable dams are less than 15 m in height. Most of these dams are owned by small communities, mining companies or farmers, many of which have smaller operations than those of Australia’s larger dam owners. In many cases the dam represents the owner’s sole source of water supply.
Many smaller dam owners are unaware of the key factors affecting the safety and best management of their facilities. Added to this is a general lack of understanding of dam related issues by the community at large. This often leads to significant owner and community concerns (and conflicts) that have the potential to jeopardise the viability, or worse, the safety of a project. The relative importance of the dam to the smaller dam owner often exacerbates these issues.
This paper serves to illustrate, by way of example, a consultant’s viewpoint of some of the issues encountered on small dam projects and suggests actions that the dams industry as whole could take to improve the situation.
Shane McGrath and Michelle Cowan
Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW) is a Victorian rural water authority with responsibility for management of the major water systems within a 68,000 square kilometre region. Following a detailed business risk assessment undertaken in 1996, Goulburn-Murray Water developed a ten-year program to commence design reviews and address identified deficiencies at thirteen dams for which G-MW has responsibility.
In October 1997, the Victorian Government announced a $450 million regional water reform package, of which $35 million was provided for rural water authorities dam improvements. $18.5 million was allocated to G-MW on a ‘dollar for dollar’ basis. With contributions from G-MW customers, the current total funding amounts to $37 million.
This paper focuses on processes that G-MW has adopted to manage an accelerated program of dam design review and remedial work.