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.
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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.
Pieter van Breda, Alison White, and Greg Carmody
Site works on the $150 million Warragamba Dam Auxiliary Spillway project commenced in March 1999 and were completed in June 2002. Successful interaction with the local community, to achieve an equitable outcome, has been a feature of the communications strategy for the project.
The Auxiliary Spillway is located close to the village of Warragamba, a township of approximately 2,000 residents. The closest residence is about 200 metres from the site. The EIS and subsequent planning documents identified key localised environmental impacts that the project would impose. The main concern of local residents, including a local action group, was the impact on their amenity during construction of the Auxiliary Spillway, particularly in relation to noise, vibration, dust and traffic.
The conditions of approval for the project included a range of communication activities, of which the formation of a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) with an independent Chairperson was a key component. When the membership of the CLC was established the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) and chairperson agreed that it needed to fully represent the local community – and therefore included community representatives from Warragamba and two nearby villages, the Chamber of Commerce, the local action group, the local school, local council, the dam owner (SCA) and the project manager (AWT P/L).
The establishment of the CLC has proven to be very successful. It has been the voice of the community, with responsibility to act on behalf of the community and to keep them informed of progress on the project. When issues arose during the construction, the CLC were briefed on the particular matter. The CLC was instrumental in resolving these community issues and has allowed this $150 million civil project to proceed without community attributed delays.
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.
D. J. Dole, D. Dreverman and A. J. McLeod
The Murray-Darling Basin Commission is embarking on an ambitious project directed towards repairing the environmental damage to the River Murray, caused by a century of human intervention. Today the River Murray is one of the more highly regulated rivers in the world, with only a 27% natural annual median flow to the sea.
In April 2002 the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council approved, in–principle, a program of structural works from Dartmouth Dam to the Murray Mouth, including the lower Darling downstream from the Menindee Lakes. The initial phase is estimated to cost $150 million over 7 years. At the same time the Council has authorised studies of the environmental, social and economic impacts of 3 scenarios involving recovery of 350 GL, 750 GL and 1500 GL per year from existing uses, for reallocation to the environment.
This paper describes some of the key projects in the portfolio of works under consideration, including:
The paper also outlines the extensive stakeholder consultation and community engagement processes which are fundamental to the success of the project, as well as the various means adopted to enhance the links between scientists and engineers involved in the project.
Following the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, flows in the Snowy River have been reduced to 1% of their original level at Lake Jindabyne. The Victorian, NSW and Commonwealth Governments have agreed to restore 212 gigalitres per annum (about 21% flows) to the river over a ten-year period and 28% in the longer term. The increased flows will be sourced primarily through water savings projects in Northern Victoria and NSW. This is a case study in learning how to share our precious water resources between environmental, social and economic needs.