This paper provides an insight into the management of reservoirs under drought conditions within the new water management frameworks established under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Water Reforms. Traditional approaches to the sharing of available supplies during drought are no longer appropriate as the roles of the resource regulator, infrastructure operator, and Government have been separated in the interests of providing certainty for water users and the environment. Recent experiences during drought in the Upper Mary River system near Gympie in Queensland has demonstrated the need to ensure the robustness of water sharing rules for reservoirs under the new framework if certainty is to be delivered.
Hydro Tasmania has recently upgraded the control systems for the spillway gates of three of its dams, Clark Dam, Meadowbank Dam and Liapootah Dam. The upgrades followed internal reliability assessments that highlighted high reliance on operator attendance, single points of failure and operational difficulties on each of the three gate systems.
The three gates are of contrasting types. Clark Dam Spillway Gates are submerged orifice type radial gates, operated by wire rope hoists. Meadowbank Crest Gates are flap type gates, held by 10 hydraulic cylinders per gate, a design that has had a difficult operating history. Liapootah is a floating drum gate. The upgrades for each gate therefore required different solutions, albeit within a common basis of design framework. The solutions arrived at are innovative, and meet or exceed worlds best practice.
All three gates are now fully automatic, with PLC control. The use of PLC’s significantly enhances the reliability of the gates. Extensive use is also made of the PLC in monitoring key systems. For example, an impossibly rapid lake level rise detected by one transducer, but not its duplicate, will be alarmed but ignored to avoid unnecessary discharge. All systems incorporate appropriate redundancy. The PLC systems also provide some automatic functional testing functionality and enhance remote alarms and local fault finding.
Mechanical systems were modified to facilitate automation and increase reliability. Stand by power sources used include auto-start diesel genset, DC batteries and a micro hydro generator.
The design and implementation of each of the upgrades was carried out by the Electrical and Mechanical Group of Hydro Tasmania’s Consulting Division, in conjunction with Generation Division’s Project Management Group.
Phillip Jordan, Rory Nathan, L. Mittiga1 M. Pearse, and Brian Taylor
There are many important dams and other structures on catchments smaller than 1000 km² with response times less than 24 hours, however these catchments have been largely overlooked in previous research into large and extreme floods. This paper is an initial step in “catching up” design practice for short duration rainfall events to the current best practice that is available for estimation of floods from rainfall events with durations of 24 hours and greater.
Two issues are specifically addressed in this paper. Firstly, a regional analysis of short duration rainfall depths is conducted to extend the frequency curve beyond an AEP of 1 in 100. Rainfall frequency curves are estimated for durations between 0.5 and 12 hours, using data from ten pluviograph sites around Australia. Secondly, sets of temporal patterns are derived that could be useful in joint probability analysis of short duration rainfall events. The effects of these new rainfall depths and temporal patterns on flood frequency curves are tested by applying them to rainfall-runoff routing models for three dams with small catchment areas.
N. Vitharana, A. Gower, G. Bell and N. Petrovic
Churchman Brook Dam is a 26m high earthfill dam with a puddle clay core and impounds a reservoir of 2.2GL. Various remedial works have been undertaken since completion of construction in 1928. In September 2000, a sinkhole in the right abutment was observed during a routine dam inspection. Following this incident, detailed site investigations were carried out. These investigations revealed that there are soft zones and possibly voids formed in the upper part of the clay core.
A comprehensive dam safety study and a risk workshop undertaken in 2002/2003 showed the dam to be deficient in aspects associated with piping, spillway adequacy and outlet works condition. A rational geotechnical model was developed for the foundation utilising triaxial test data from 1980s and recent investigations. The existing spillway chute will be upgraded with a concrete liner attached to the existing chute incorporating no-fine concrete as a free-draining medium. This paper presents the various aspects of the remedial works currently being designed.
John Phillips, Yu Sheng, Jennifer Henderson
The main iron ore body at Cockatoo Island in the West Kimberleys forms a cliff face plunging steeply into the sea. It was mined by BHP down to low tide level, but the tidal range of 10 metres hampered operations. Being a very pure and sought after ore, various investigations were made to determine methods of extracting the ore below the sea. A coffer dam into the sea was investigated with the conclusion that the soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater in the foundation posed a major risk and high costs.
The mine was sold to a smaller company who proceeded to win useful ore from the island. They also eyed off the undersea ore and approached GHD to use soft ground technology developed for the Derby Tidal Power Project. The soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater conditions were investigated.
The paper describes the design processes involved to achieve dam stability in a space limited by lease boundaries and the desire to maximise the amount of ore that could be accessed. A key to the process was the development of construction techniques and core placement procedures that could cope with the tidal range. Timing aspects were crucial and were controlled by observations of an extensive array of instruments installed for control purposes.