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.
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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.
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.
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.
Duane M. McClelland and David S. Bowles
There is a growing concern about the limitations of the approaches to life-loss estimation that are currently used in dam safety risk assessment. This paper summarises insights into factors that affect evacuation effectiveness, loss of life, and survival, based on a detailed review of historical dam breaks and other types of floods. The understanding and empirical characterisation of life loss dynamics being developed from these case histories are intended to provide the foundation for an improved practical life-loss estimation model.