The regulatory environment for dams in Queensland will change when the new provisions of the Water Act 2000 are proclaimed in late 2001 or early 2002. The definition of a ‘referable dam’ has shifted from a simple height and storage criteria to one that requires a population at risk (PAR) before dams are considered referable. Additionally hazardous waste dams such as tailings dams will no longer be considered as referable dams and under the Act regulatory control will be transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Referable water dams will be assigned a Failure Impact Category of 2 if they have a PAR greater than 100 and a Category of I if they have a PAR greater than or equal to 2 and less than 100. This has required the development of guidelines for the assessment of ‘population at risk’. These guidelines have been written to suit a wide variety of dam impact situations and a range of dam owner resources. The guidelines require certification of the failure impact assessment by a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Queensland.
The Queensland Dam Safety Management Guidelines have also been re-written to make them more amenable for reference in dam safety conditions.
New dams will require development permits to be issued under the Integrated Planning Act and will have development permit conditions applied in accordance with their Failure Impact Category. There is a range of transitional provisions for existing dams.
This paper covers all of the above issues as well as providing an indication as to how these statutory guidelines relate to the various ANCOLD guidelines.
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Lelio Mejia, Murray Gillon, Jim Walker, Tom Newson
This paper describes the criteria for developing seismic loads for the safety evaluation of dams of two New Zealand owners. The criteria were constrained to satisfy the requirements of the NZSOLD Dam Safety Guidelines and to be consistent with international practice in countries with levels of seismicity and socio-economic development similar to New Zealand. In selecting the criteria, dam seismic load standards from several countries were surveyed and summarized. The selected criteria follow a standards-based approach to the seismic safety evaluation of dams. Guidelines for the use of deterministic and probabilistic procedures to develop seismic loads were formulated as a function of the Potential Impact Classification of a dam. In addition to the traditional deterministic definition of evaluation earthquakes, the selected criteria allow the use of a probabilistic definition in cases where the deterministic definition yields very low probability evaluation events.
Neil Gillespie, Chris Hansen
With the introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991, two significant changes have meant a complete review has been necessary of the planning provisions for hydro generation facilities in plans prepared under the new legislation.
Firstly, the Resource Management Act 1991 introduced an ‘effects’ based approach to planning, as opposed to an ‘activity’ based approach that existed under the previous Town & Country Planning Act 1977. Secondly, the planning mechanisms available to hydro generators to provide for their facilities changed.
Contact Energy Ltd (Contact) is a significant hydropower generator based in Central Otago. The new Regional and District Plans prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991 now contain provisions controlling activities previously provided for by way of a designation. Contact has invested considerable time and effort into the plan preparation process to ensure their activities are not unduly restricted by the new plans.
This conference paper provides an overview of the changes to the planning associated with hydropower generation facilities, and Contact’ s experience in the plan preparation process.
R.J. Nathan, P.I. Hill, and H. Griffith
Recently released ANCOLD and IEAust flood guidelines include provision for the estimation of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) as well as the Probable Maximum Precipitation Design Flood (PMP DF). This paper examines the theoretical justification for derivation of these two different types of floods, and discusses how they may be used to characterise the hydrologic risk relevant to dam spillways. Recent experience has indicated that there is some confusion in the industry about the different uses of these estimates, and thus one objective of the paper is to clarify the different concepts involved and to provide an illustration of the differences between flood estimates for the two methods. Examples are provided to illustrate how the different estimates may be derived, and the practical implications for risk analysis are discussed.
Graeme Bell, Robin Fell and Mark Foster
Standards based, dam safety management has always been about managing risks. Risk based approaches attempt to quantify the risks in a formal manner, but are based on the same requirement for good investigation and engineering, and understanding of the physical processes, as standards based methods.
This is demonstrated by the assessment of the potential for internal erosion and piping of Eucumbene Dam. The assessment is a combination of semi-quantitative risk based, and standards based approaches, and considers the likelihood of initiation, continuation, progression to form a pipe, and breach. The filter transition zones are coarser than required to meet modern filter design criteria, but it has been demonstrated by laboratory testing, and relation to the performance of other dams, that if, in the low likelihood erosion of the core initiates, it will after some erosion, seal on the filter transition zone. The downstream zone of rockfill has sufficient permeability to discharge any potential leakage which might occur, so the likelihood of breach of the dam by piping is
Peter Lilley, Kelly Deighton, Don Tate, Craig Scott
In recent years TrustPower has undergone a rapid transition from a part owner of three dams in the Kaimai ranges south of Tauranga and the Hinemaiaia and Wheao schemes near Taupo in 1998, to the present ownership situation. Today TrustPower owns 22 dams comprising a range of structure types, including arch, earthfill, rockfill, concrete gravity and a number of embankment canal systems. The dam classifications for the dam portfolio vary from small to large and the NZSOLD potential impact ratings vary from very low to high. The portfolio includes some of the largest dams in New Zealand, for example Matahina Dam a 70m high central core rock fill, Patea Dam an 80m high earthfill dam and Mahinerangi Dam a 40 m high concrete arch dam with concrete gravity abutments.
The dam structures vary significantly in terms of age, potential impact and risk to TrustPower . The Dam Safety Management Procedures (including monitoring and surveillance systems, inspections and reviews) that existed for each dam also showed considerable variation in comparison.
The approach adopted for dam safety management is described, and the interrelationship with commercial objectives and commonly accepted standard practices.