H. Morrison, J. Leckie, P. Richardson, R Paton
Awoonga Dam is a 40 metre high concrete faced rockfill dam on the Boyne River near Gladstone in Central Queensland. The dam supplies domestic and industrial water to the Gladstone region and the Callide Power Station. Stage 1 will increase FSL by 10 metres to EL 40, which increases storage capacity from 289,000 ML to 777,000 ML. To provide for future industrial growth in the region, the dam design facilitates future raising up to a nominated FSL of EL 62, in a number of stages.
The project consists of:
Significant savings were realised by adopting the alliances project delivery method, resulting in completion 5 months ahead of program and more than 10% under budget.
This paper details development of the project under the alliance and outlines some of the lessons learnt.
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Tom Ryan, Charles Todd and Simon Nicol
The potential impacts of cold water releases on the downstream thermal regime include: reducing the seasonal temperature range (lowering of the maximum and raising the minimum); reducing the diurnal temperature variation; rapid temperature changes; and delaying the seasonal warming of stream temperatures. Recent investigations have identified at least 20 large dams within Victoria, that have the potential to release cold water from below the hypolimnium. A monitoring program is currently being implemented in Victoria to identify the occurrence of cold water releases and to estimate the extent of the downstream impacts.
Cold water releases have been shown to impact the biological processes within aquatic ecosystems and consequently reduce the natural productivity. The physiological development of native freshwater fish can be impacted in a number of ways. Growth and reproductive development of adult fish is impacted while the survival of eggs and larvae can also be retarded. As a result, the sustainability and viability of native fish populations are greatly compromised.
Using stream temperature data from the Mitta Mitta River downstream of Dartmouth Dam, the decline of the native fish populations, due to cold water releases, can be demonstrated under current operating conditions. The decline in population numbers can be further demonstrated with the use of a simple age-based population model for Murray Cod. The spawning opportunity and survival of egg and larvae can be improved for Murray Cod by increasing the overall spring release temperatures by 2, 4, 6 and 8 oC. The population model adjusted for these thermal improvements, results in increased survival prospects for the Murray Cod population.
Richard R. Davidson, Shane McGrath, Adrian Bowden, Andrew Reynolds
Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW) manages thirteen major dams for the State of Victoria. As part of its Dam Improvement Program (DIP), five priority dams were identified for detailed safety and performance evaluation. Over the last three years, the design reviews have been completed and a series of dam safety issues have been identified which pose societal and financial risk. Substantial financial resources will be required to be applied over a considerable period to bring these dams into compliance with established international and Australian standards. Which of these dam safety issues should be addressed first? In what sequence and with what urgency should the actions be implemented? Can cost-effective interim targets be set? How can the remaining eight
dams, which could also pose societal and financial risk, be prioritised for future detailed investigation? To answer these questions a quantitative risk assessment approach was used. The approach utilised expert engineering and consequence panels and included input to and review of the process and outcomes by a stakeholder reference panel reporting directly to the Board of G-MW. The implementation of a strategic risk management process has now begun to progressively and systematically reduce the dam safety risk across the entire dams portfolio. This process recognises that available funding for risk reduction measures is very limited, so the highest risks are reduced in an incremental fashion to achieve interim risk targets and eventually meet contemporary dam safety standards.
Water storage dams influence the lives of a large number of people. This influence may be through provision of essential water supply or risk of dam failure during sunny day or extreme flood scenarios. It is therefore imperative that these structures are managed in a responsible with a clear understanding of the associated uncertainty. In view of the large capital cost of the structures involved, this understanding is important to ensure that, where necessary,
practical and cost effective solutions are achieved. The NSW Dams Safety Committee largely regulates the management of dams in New South Wales, however, dam owners have the opportunity to display individual initiative in this process.
The Hunter Water Corporation (HWC) is a water authority based in Newcastle, New South Wales, responsible for the supply of water and wastewater services for over 470,000 people. HWC has realised, as a responsible dam owner, that safety improvements are a continuum over the life of the structure. Chichester Dam is an example of this on-going safety improvement process that is illustrated through the principle of ALARP in a risk assessment approach.
Chas Keys and Steve Opper
As the legislated ‘combat agency’ for dealing with floods, the NSW State Emergency Service has had considerable experience in planning for flooding on the state’s rivers and in developing arrangements to help keep people safe when floods occur. This experience has been put to use over the past decade in the particular context of managing floods caused or exacerbated by dam failure. Some of the complexities of the dam-failure planning problem are explored in this paper, specifically as they relate to warning and evacuation tasks and to the issue of preparing communities for the extreme flooding which dam failure can be expected to cause. The points are made that warning is not just about mechanical alerting devices, evacuation is not restricted to commanding people to move, and public education requires a sensitive comprehension of the problems of disseminating information about rare and difficult-to-believe events.
R.A. Ayre and T. L. McGrath
The regulatory environment of Queensland’s water resources has changed significantly within the last few years as a consequence of the passing of the Water Act 2000. SunWater, as the owner of referable dams and the operator of water infrastructure, is required to observe the provisions of the new Act.
SunWater has undertaken dam failure analyses of a number of its dams in accordance with the new guidelines prepared by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. The results of these assessments are being used as part of a portfolio risk assessment of its assets to help prioritise refurbishment activities. Aspects within the guidelines relate to various ANCOLD publications, with a focus on the consequence of failure for determining incremental hazard categories and appropriate design standards for spillway adequacy.
SunWater also operates its schemes under the provisions of Interim Resource Operation Licenses (IROLs). As part of Government’s water planning process, SunWater is required to submit proposed water management arrangements for its schemes. SunWater develops these arrangements, which include operation, water trading, and monitoring rules, to meet its business objectives and the objectives of government. With government approval, these proposed arrangements will translate to the provisions of Resource Operation Licenses when the Resource Operation Planning (ROP) process is completed.
This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to meeting regulatory requirements in the above areas.