P.I. Hill, D. Cook, R.J. Nathan, P.A. Crowe, J.H. Green, N. Mayo
This paper describes the development of a comprehensive approach to estimating the consequences of failure of a dam. The approach considers separately the consequences in terms of potential loss of life, economic loss and damage to the environment and the development and application of the method involved professionals from a wide range of disciplines. The method has been applied to 28 dams in NSW.
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B. S. Sherman
Many large Australian dams currently lack selective withdrawal capabilities and release water mainly from deep within the hypolimnion. Deep-water releases coupled with the strong thermal stratification typical of Australian reservoirs results in discharge temperatures 10 °C or more colder than would normally be expected. Cold water pollution has impacted more than 1000 km of river habitat in Australia where it is known to impair spawning, feeding and survival of many native fishes.
This report reviews alternative approaches for the mitigation of cold water pollution below dams. The underlying theory and practical limitations of operation as well as field experience (including cost) with each of the methods are discussed. Two methods in particular, suface pumps and submerged curtains, appear to offer cost-effective alternatives to the expensive retrofitting of dams with multi-level outlet structures (estimated to cost $5-35m per dam for major dams in NSW). These methods are predicted to be capable of increasing discharge temperatures by 4-10 ° throughout the range of irrigation releases without any redirection of flows, i.e. hydropower releases can be maintained at present levels. This holds the promise of restoring more desirable temperatures over hundreds of kilometres of river.
Pieter van Breda, Peter Walton, Kate Lenertz and Tim Sheridan
The Warragamba Dam Auxiliary Spillway Project, designed to manage floodwaters up to a Probable Maximum Flood event, was approved by the NSW Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning on February 12, 1998. An Environmental Impact Statement prepared for this project predicted that noise, dust (suspended and deposited), blasting, vibration, water quality and revegetation would be the significant environmental issues requiring management throughout the construction phase.
The closest residents are approximately 200m from the construction activity. The works must not interfere with the operation of the Dam, which stores 80% of Sydney’s drinking water and the integrity of the existing infrastructure must be maintained at all times. The approved proposal was to emplace the 2.2Mm3 of spoil excavated to create the spillway in an area 25 ha by 20m high on top of a ridge on the left bank adjoining the Blue Mountains National Park. This created visual impact and rehabilitation challenges.
Although the contract for this project was primarily performance based, strict environmental clauses were incorporated to manage these priority issues. Noise and dust modelling were required from each pre-qualified Tenderer, to demonstrate capability of compliance with NSW Environment Protection Authority requirements. This formed part of the tender assessment. Criteria were also developed for revegetation, specifying numbers of endemic trees, shrubs and grasses per 400m2 of spoil emplacement in order to create a floral community similar to the existing adjacent National Park.
The implementation of these requirements and the development of a site Environmental Management Plan by the Sydney Catchment Authority, Australian Water Technologies and Abigroup Contractors, whilst maintaining productivity, has proven to be a working example of the benefits of Partnering.
Richard R. Davidson, Roger Vreugdenhil and Mark Foster
Significant cracking was observed on the crest of the main embankment at Lake Eppalock for many years, but in recent years increasing movement upstream during low reservoir levels indicated a progressively deteriorating stability situation. Investigations also revealed cohesive filter material that would allow a crack to propagate. A fast-tracked remedial works program was completed in 1999 to rebuild the highly vulnerable upper rockfill shells and filters, both upstream and downstream. To manage construction risk, the works were carried out directly by G- MW with innovations in removal, protection and replacement of the downstream shoulders, and placement of a new multi-zone filter.
Mark Locke, Buddhima Indraratna, Phillip Cummins and Gamini Adikari
ABSTRACT: Australia has a large number of older embankment dams, which have been in service and performed adequately for over 50 years. However, current industry practice in embankment dam design predicts that the granular filters within these dams may not be adequate. This may require refurbishment of the dam by retro-fitting a new filter to ensure the continued safety of the structure. This paper outlines the potential problems with older embankment dam designs, and the reasons for constructing a new filter. Potential problems may include inadequate or non-existent filters, risk of failure due to earthquake, piping, or excessive foundation seepage. Design methods for granular filters are described briefly, concentrating on whether an existing filter is adequate, and the potential improvement by constructing a new filter. Construction issues for placing filters on existing dams are also discussed.
A new analytical method, developed to describe the time dependent erosion and filtration within embankment dams, is described briefly. The model predicts particle erosion, transport and retention based on fundamental fluid mechanics and geotechnical concepts. The application of this model to the design of filters for new and existing dams will be described. The predictions of such analytical modelling can give a designer a significantly clearer picture of the purpose of a granular filter, the extent of core erosion that can be expected, and the effect of retrofitting a new filter to an existing dam.
The Victorian Water Industry Seismic Network was substantially upgraded in 1999. This paper will look at the design and outcomes of the seismic network from a risk management and emergency management perspective. Funding issues for a diversified network providing benefits to a range of clients within the one industry group will also be discussed.
Prior to 1999 the Victorian seismic network had been developed on an ad hoc basis resulting in an incomplete level of seismic coverage throughout the state. The upgraded network now provides sufficient coverage to provide an intensity based alarm service for all contributing Victorian Water Authorities.
Community expectations of essential service providers such as the water industry are that they will carry out their own risk management to provide for service continuity and sustainability and that they will contribute to emergency management processes because it is in their own best interest to do so.
The risk management model looks at creating resilient communities through planning for the four R’s. Reduction, Readiness, Response and Recovery. The Seismology Research Centre’s Earthquake Preparation Alarm and Response system (EPAR) deals with the four R’s in relation to seismic hazard.
The EPAR system contributes to the risk management processes of identifying risks and vulnerability’s; potential consequences; and mitigation opportunities. The EPAR system additionally contributes to the emergency management processes of crisis response, impact assessment and recovery.