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.
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.
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.
Javad Tabatabaei! and Christopher Zoppou
Cotter Dam was constructed in 1912 to 19m and was raised to 31m in 1949. Due to its close proximity to a popular recreational resort, it is considered as a high hazard dam. It forms a storage with a capacity of only 4500ML and receives flows from a catchment area of 482km?. Concern about the ageing and structural integrity of Cotter Dam was expressed as early as 1967. There has also been a major revision of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) and new earthquake requirements for the dam. All these factors have contributed to the decision to undertake remedial works on the dam. The remedial work could be interrupted by flows over the spillway. This would increase the cost of the works because the construction equipment must be removed and reinstated (de/remobilisation) when there are flows over the spillway. Additional costs are also incurred for each day the construction equipment remains idle (standby). The total tender price therefore includes the cost associated with the remedial work as well as any standby and de/remobolisations. Risk analysis was used to establish the frequency the reservoir water level exceeds the spillway level. The risk analysis was used to select the successful remedial works tender.
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.
Robert J. Parker
This paper examines the current trends in the construction of Roller Compacted Concrete Dams in Australia and Internationally. Certain recent trends to processes such as grout enriched vibratable RCC will assist both the cost effectiveness and simplicity of this type of dam construction. Key issues considered are: I. The trend is to use less conventional concrete in the structure and grout enriched RCC against contact surfaces are the means of achieving this. 2. Proportionally greater use is being made of high paste mixes 3. In order to maximise placing rates, keep it simple 4. Aggregates should be manufactured in not less than three sizes and preferably four if segregation is to be controlled