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 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.
ANCOLD Environmental Guidelines have been under preparation for a considerable time. A brief for their preparation followed a resolution by the ANCOLD executive in 1991] that:
“ANCOLD should be seen by the profession and the community as a credible and informed source of information on the risks and benefits associated with dam projects.”
Why the guidelines were initiated, why they have taken the time they have to prepare and what they cover are described in this paper.
To the author’s knowledge, they are the only guidelines of their type, addressing the environmental effects of dams and associated works. It is hoped that they generate substantive debate. This paper initiates the public comments phase.
The paper has two purposes:
° = To introduce the guidelines ° To use the guidelines to introduce this environmental issues session of this conference
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.
Kumara Arachchi and Kelvin J Lambkin
Wetlands by their very nature act as storages of pollutants and nutrients in systems subject to environmental stresses. Wingecarribee Swamp acted in this manner and enhanced the quality of catchment runoff flowing into the Wingecarribee Reservoir until the structural failure of early August 1998 in which 6000 megalitres of peat and sedimentary material were moved into the Reservoir. Protection of the Swamp’s functions and values is directly related to Sydney Catchment Authority’s core objectives of protecting the environment and protecting public health by supplying drinking water of acceptable quality. Due to the catastrophic failure, water quality in the reservoir and the ecological integrity of the Swamp have been compromised. The incident has also resulted in significant dam safety issues.
This paper describes the dam safety, catchment management and water quality response to the failure of a major peatland which covered 8% of the catchment of Wingecarribee Reservoir in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Garry Meinck, Chris Elliott and Tony Moulds
This paper describes the experiences of a former state statutory authority in the almost four years since it became corporatised to form a water utility with a fully commercial orientation and with a new board of management with a clear awareness of the responsibilities of corporate governance.
The need to commit to major remedial work at one of the principal dams focussed the Board’s attention on the safety status of all of the Corporation’s 56 referable dams.
In the absence of external dam safety regulation the Corporation has moved to satisfy its corporate governance responsibilities by adopting current best practice in dam safety. Key elements in this process were: