Russell Hawken, Peter Buchanan, Doug Connors, Bill Hakin
Dartmouth Regulating Dam is located on the Mitta Mitta River, approximately 8 km downstream of
Dartmouth Dam. The dam is a 23 m high concrete gravity structure with a 60 m long central spillway
section. The dam forms the storage required for regulating releases from the Dartmouth Power
Station back to the Mitta Mitta River, so as to satisfy environmental requirements. Dartmouth
Regulating Dam and Power Station are owned and operated by Southern Hydro Limited, the largest
hydropower generator in Victoria.
To allow greater flexibility in their generation and hence a better response to the peaks in electricity
demand, Southern Hydro investigated the possibility of increasing the full supply level of the dam.
After an initial assessment of the economic benefits a detailed review of raising options was
undertaken, including different proprietary products and conventional spillway gates. Following this
review it was concluded that the Hydroplus System would provide the greatest benefits when all
aspects of the raising were considered, including dam safety, long term reliability, maintenance and
This paper discusses the reasons for the raising of the full supply level, the approvals process
undertaken and the technical issues addressed during the design stage, including the required
modifications to the dam and the appropriate sizing of the Hydroplus Fusegates.
Tim Waldron, K D Murray and Allan Crichton
The City of Hervey Bay is a growing tourist community that is located a comfortable 3½ hour drive north of Brisbane. To meet the growing water demands of the community, Wide Bay Water Corporation required the raising of its sole water supply – Lenthalls Dam.
At the time of the option study, Queensland dam owners were aware of their obligation to manage their dams to minimise adverse environmental impacts but detailed Environmental Flow Objectives were still being developed.
This required a solution for the raising of Lenthalls Dam that provided maximum flexibility while, at the same time, being cost effective.
A range of solutions and new technologies were investigated. Using a Risk Management methodology, the Crest Gate system developed in South Africa was adopted.
Subsequently, draft Environmental Flow Objectives have been set and the use of a gated system has been beneficial in meeting post-winter flow objectives.
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.
R.I. Herweynen and A.M. Hughes
Hydro Tasmania has a number of dams which were designed and constructed in the 1950-70s
with fully grouted, post-tensioned anchors. The method used was leading edge in its day,
however, it does not achieve the cable protection of modern methods which provide two barriers
against corrosion and are monitorable. Hydro Tasmania has developed and employed an
innovative program to ascertain the integrity and remaining life of the cables and to prepare
long term management plans for its cabled dams.
An international panel was set-up to provide guidance on the overall issue, assist in developing
a sound methodology for assessing the corrosion of the anchors and advise on long-term
monitoring. To focus the efforts, Catagunya Dam was adopted as the pilot dam, as the stability
of this dam is very much dependent on the integrity of the anchors. This paper will provide a
brief overview of the project to date but will focus in detail on the main components of the
corrosion assessment of the anchors, namely:
The paper also provides a brief summary of the instrumentation installed at Catagunya Dam to
assist with the long-term monitoring of the dam.
Tony McCormick, John Grimston, Robin Dawson
Project Aqua is a proposed hydroelectric and irrigation resource sharing development on the Lower Waitaki River in New Zealand’s South Island. The NZ $1 billion project aims to deliver approximately 540 MW peak power at an economically viable price, while minimising environmental and social impacts. Application of traditional hydro concepts in historical studies for the same reach has not provided an economic solution. The current proposal challenges conventional thinking in many areas with innovative concepts allowing a significantly lower cost while not sacrificing safety or flexibility.
Development of storage may involve high social and environmental impacts. No significant storage is needed for Project Aqua as the operation of existing upstream dams can be modified to provide for peaking demand and maintenance of minimum flows. The river intake offers innovative features with its very low profile structure. The concept allows a departure from the traditional barrage or dam diversion and maintains an open braid for jet boat and fish passage. This concept has proven to be a major feature in the overall project progression to the current stage.
The largest impact component of the scheme is the eight canals designed to carry 340 cumecs over 63 km through six power stations. Cuts and fills form the canals with locally derived materials used for the embankments and lining. Expensive lining has been minimised by balancing flow exchange with groundwater through the cut and fill sections.
Feasibility design has been completed and resource consents are currently being sought. This paper will cover the significant design features and impacts.
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.