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.
Peter Quinlan and Sergio Giudici
The Hydro Electric Corporation (HEC) owns and manages 54 large and referable dams across Tasmania. Monitoring, data storage and data utilisation techniques have evolved significantly over the years as the dams have aged and as instrumentation, communication and data management technologies have advanced. This paper describes the development of the HEC’s ‘Asset Safety Evaluation Tool’ (ASET) for acquisition, management and interpretation of data relating to dam safety management. The paper also provides examples of how ASET has been applied within the HEC to demonstrate how the primary functional development goals of robustness and practicality have been achieved.
The Bundaberg Irrigation Area (BIA) is served by a reticulation system of channels, pipelines, pump stations and balancing storages drawing water from a major dam (Fred Haigh on the Kolan River), augmented by a number of weirs and tidal barrages. The scheme as originally proposed in the late 1960’s included a major dam on the Burnett River that has never been built. Accordingly, the reliability of the system was lower than desired, a situation exacerbated by prolonged drought during the 1990’s.
In the 1980s, alternative (cheaper) sources of water supply were investigated and a weir site on the Burnett River (Walla) was selected as the most promising. In 1993, the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments agreed to the Sugar Industry Infrastructure Package (SHP). Walla Weir was included in the Package, subject to environmental and economic assessment.
Detailed impact assessment studies were carried out and submitted to both State and Commonwealth Environment departments. In the light of strong opposition from environmental groups (whose major concern was the Queensland Lungfish), the Federal Minister for the Environment commissioned an independent review of the IAS before granting approval.
Approval was conditional on the implementation of an Environmental Management Plan and a River Operation Plan as well as a commitment to undertake extensive baseline studies before any new development is proposed in the area. This paper will discuss the investigation and approval process and describe the additional monitoring/studies being carried out.
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.
A strategy designed to ensure that an existing dam continues to perform effectively will include:
This paper will explore each of these issues and how they may be applied to dams in a variety of situations. These situations include water supply reservoirs, flood retarding basins, levees and wastewater lagoons. While each situation is different, the underlying principles will remain consistent. The range of situations encountered by Victorian Water Authorities provides the inspiration for the development of an efficient approach to the management of the safety of dams.
The paper outlines the integration of Environmental Risk Management in Goulburn- Murray Water with previous work on Dam Safety, Business and Occupational Health and Safety risks. This has now been followed by the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) to provide an environmental risk management framework for the whole Authority.
An Environmental Audit in 1997 identified deficiencies in some areas of environmental management and questioned the Authority’s ability to demonstrate due diligence. This led to a decision to develop and implement an EMS based on the International Standard ISO 14001.
Examination of Goulburn-Murray Water activities, associated environmental aspects and impacts, (and the consequences arising), led to the establishment ofan environmental risk register. Analysis and assessment of the risks to produce a ranking Jrom low to very high is described. Refinement to a significant risk register (high and very high risks), and consolidation into a list of generic risks based on major activities, functions and asset categories is described.
Based on this risk profile for the Authority, the Environmental Policy and Objectives were revised, and a methodology for identifying Environmental Targets was developed. Environmental Risk reduction is then delivered through the implementation of target driven Environmental Management Programs (EMPs).
Major system elements described include an emergency response plan, a legal register, an authority / responsibility matrix, a document control system, procedures, forms, training, auditing, and reporting.
The paper describes some of the practical issues encountered and the lessons learned with a focus on the activities of the Headworks Business. A prospective view of implementation and culture change issues is given.