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.
Bill Hakin, Phillip Solomon, Peter Siers Bruce Goddard
Lyell Dam is located on the Coxs River near Lithgow NSW Australia. It was constructed in 1982 to supply cooling water to Delta Electricity’s Mt. Piper and Wallerawang power stations.
In 1994 the storage capacity of the dam was increased by 7,500 Ml by raising the embankment height and installing two 3.5m high inflatable rubber dams on an enlarged and slightly raised spillway sill. Two significant failures of the rubber dams in 1997 and 1999, led the dam owner to seek an alternative method of maintaining the increased Full Supply Level (FSL) whilst still providing spillway capacity for the design flood. Although the lost storage has a certain strategic value to Delta Electricity, the main reason for restoring the capacity to its former level was to preserve the environmental and recreational use of the reservoir for the local community.
Following a detailed review of options, Delta Electricity chose to regain the former FSL with the Hydroplus Fusegate System. Because of the freeboard available at Lyell dam it was possible to design the Fusegates such that none tip before the 20 000 AEP flood.
In order to derive accurate as-built levels and dimensions of the existing spillway, new laser scanning methods were utilised to create a digital 3-D model of its complex shape.
The water retaining concrete Fusegates were poured in-situ and designed without anti-crack reinforcement. This innovation was only possible by use of a special design mix and careful temperature control/monitoring during concrete placing.
This is the first installation of the Hydroplus Fusegate System in Australia. The paper examines the philosophy of approach and various unique methods used in the application of the System during the design and construction stages.
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.
P. H. Southcott, R. Herweynen and R. Fell
Hydro Tasmania is in the process of undertaking a Portfolio Risk Assessment of its 54 referable dams, of which 14 are concrete faced rockfill dams. One of the potential failure modes identified during the study so far is a concentrated leak developing in the face slab or joints of the slab, leading to failure of the dam. Current methodologies for assessment of piping failures through embankment dams are considered inadequate for this failure mode. This paper discusses an event tree methodology developed from the work of Foster and Fell (1999) and Foster et al (2001) to address this failure mode. The key aspect of this method is identifying the factors that influence the likelihood of initiating a concentrated leak through the perimetric, vertical and crest wall joints and through the face slab concrete. It is concluded that for the vast majority of well designed and constructed concrete faced rockfill dams that a concentrated leak leading to failure is very unlikely.
G.W. Ashman, C.M. Hamilton and N.J. Hall
Consideration of the need to accommodate environmental flows in the operation of major dams is a relatively new requirement in South Australia. Recognition of environmental water requirements has been promoted through the COAG water industry reforms and the State Water Resources Act. The South Australian Water Corporation is working with other Government agencies on environmental flow projects that will potentially involve three of the Corporation’s large dams. This presentation will summarise the work done to date on establishing environmental flow releases from these storages. The presentation will give the SA Water perspective on the regulatory, environmental, social and operational aspects of the environmental flow issue.
J.H. Green, P.E. Weinmann, G.A. Kuczera, R. J. Nathan and E.M. Laurenson
Assigning an Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) to the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP), and subsequently to the PMP Design Flood, is an integral part of the risk assessment process for large dams. Laurenson and Kuczera (1998) conducted a review of existing PMP risk estimation practices in Australia and concluded that, in the absence of any better information, the work by Kennedy and Hart (1984) provided the most appropriate estimates to adopt but with the proviso that the method should be viewed as interim pending the outcomes of ongoing research.
This paper gives an overview of a joint research project that is working towards obtaining credible estimates of exceedance probabilities of extreme rainfalls using the concept of storm arrival probability and storm transposition probability. It also outlines the work to be carried out over the next 12 months that will culminate in the combining of the outcomes of the two components and the application to test catchments. Finally, the paper discusses desirable follow-up action to promote the adoption of the research results by practitioners.