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.
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.
Brian Walford and Ross Killick
Increasing salinity in Australian river systems is a major issue that is attracting attention from politicians, environmentalists and the wider community. The successful coexistence of mining and agriculture in the Hunter Valley has resulted in the need to tackle river salinity with a cooperative approach to not only contain salinity, but also reduce it. Mining companies have participated in the development of a tradeable emission scheme to manage the discharge of surplus saline water, resulting in the construction of mine water dams that are designed to release a large volume of saline water in 2– 3 days.
Paul W. Heinrichs & John Bosler
Spring Creek Dam is a 16m high zoned earthfill dam with a central vertical concrete core wall storing 4700 ML for Orange City Council’s water supply. It was a 14.5m high dam constructed in 1931 and in 1947 was raised by 1.0m. In 1966 after a week of heavy rain following a long dry spell, an 80m section of the downstream face slumped but the dam fortuitously survived. In 1969 the dam was re-constructed but no internal drain/filter was installed.
Following the 1994 dam surveillance report, piezometers were installed in the downstream fill. Drilling for these revealed that a substantial portion of the zone downstream of the core wall was saturated. The piezometers recorded piezometric elevations that closely and rapidly followed the reservoir level. Subsequent site investigations identified pockets of very low strength fill immediately downstream of the core wall. It was concluded that the core wall was seriously compromised and the storage level was subsequently, significantly lowered, as an interim dam safety measure.
Dambreak studies indicated the dam is a high hazard and hydrological studies found that the spillway capacity was inadequate.
This paper details the problems involved, their analyses, and the remedial measures proposed at the concept design stage. These include a chimney filter/drain, a stabilising fill combined with embankment crest raising and the construction of a 3-bay fuse plug auxiliary spillway.
David J. Walland, Jeanette Meighen, Catherine Beesley, Karin Xuereb
The method for estimating Probable Maximum Precipitation in areas of Australia affected by tropical storms has been revised. The method that it replaces, designed in the 1970s is considered outdated and based on limited data.
The entire Bureau rainfall record has been examined objectively for the largest rainfall events. These events have been analysed and modified to enable storm transposition across a large region. The modifications are based on local topography, moisture and location. Once the storm data is transposed to a single location it can be meaningfully compared and used to construct an upper estimate on the possible rainfall. This estimate can then be used in conjunction with information about a specific catchment in order to estimate Probable Maximum Precipitation at that location.
J. Matthews, A. Crichton, G. Gibson
Glenmaggie Dam is a 37m high concrete gravity dam, which was constructed from 1919 to 1927. A
design review, which was carried out in line with ANCOLD Guidelines, (SMEC 1999) indicated that the dam did not meet the ANCOLD Guidelines for earthquake. This was despite the fact that the dam was stabilised in 1989 by the addition of 70 post-tensioned ground anchors. Faced with the possibility of having to perform a major upgrade to the dam, Southern Rural Water opted to undertake a more detailed assessment of the seismic loads and to carry out further analysis of the dam using the time history method. The time history method uses an accelerogram to model the forces acting on the structure throughout the earthquake and takes into account the continually changing direction of these forces. It can also be used to determine the size of any permanent
displacements caused by the earthquake, which can then be compared to the maximum allowable permanent deformation of the dam to determine if they are acceptable. The study was carried out by GHD Pty Ltd and also utilised updated seismic information for the dam site provided by the Seismology Research Centre and a geological assessment of the local faults by the URS Corporation. This paper discusses the methods used to determine the seismic loads; the techniques used in the study and the outcomes and follows the process from a dam owner’s perspective.