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.
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?”
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.
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
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.
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.