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.
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.
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.
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?”
P. J. N. Pells and M. Hunter
The potential for generating acid leachate from waste dumps is a major consideration in many metalliferous and coal mines. This paper describes the construction of the highest embankment dam in Indonesia for the sole purpose of storing potentially acid producing waste under water. The paper discusses the features of embankment dam design peculiar to an open pit mining environment which involves moving more than three times the total volume of earth and rock than in the whole of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
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.