Robert Virtue, Deryk Forster, Jon Williams and Sabina Fahrner
Basic pre-construction foundation investigations for the Ross River Dam were done in the late ‘60s to early ‘70s but a more detailed hydrogeological assessment was carried out to investigate and manage water logging and salinity, which developed immediately downstream in the late 1970s.
As part of the 2005 Stage 2 to 5 upgrade design, detailed conceptual and numerical hydrogeological modelling was required to predict aquifer response along the embankment and downstream. This required “data mining” and additional drilling and aquifer testing to fill in data gaps, with the filtered and re-interpreted data used to build a 3D conceptual model of the embankment and underlying geology, by a design team comprising specialist hydrogeologists, geologists, geotechnical and damsengineers. This was converted to a 10-layer, 2-million cell numerical model, to enable high-resolution modelling of groundwater behaviour for a range of aquifer properties, flood hydrographs and seepage management options. As well as a design tool, the model is a valuable monitoring tool in confirming the performance of seepage management systems and to provide early warning of seepage management failures.
The study emphasised the need to capture data for a wide range in aquifer stress, to have simple preliminary spreadsheet models to provide a “sanity check” and to collect data away from the embankment to allow a 3D interpretation of the geology, to the assumption of “layer cake” models.
Sonny Connors, Shaun Nugent, Brett Taylor, Brian Walford
The Tarong coal-fired power station near Kingaroy in southern Queensland discharges ash to a storage facility of 42,000 ML capacity, impounded by a 48 m high-zoned earth and rockfill dam embankment. The embankment was constructed in 1980–81. In recent years, Tarong Energy Corporation (TEC) has investigated a number of options for a new storage facility as the remaining capacity of the existing ash dam storage diminishes. TEC determined that the existing facility should be upgraded to provide additional storage capacity for the short term. At the same time, there emerged a requirement to improve the long-term seismic resistance of the embankment. Enlarging the existing spillway cut provided the material for a 400,000 m3 weighting zone and, by reducing the design flood freeboard, extended the ash disposal capacity by several years without a need to raise the embankment. Challenges included significant foundation seepage and deteriorated riprap. The paper describes the issues, risks, adopted criteria, investigation undertaken, and implementation of the upgrading works. Innovative approaches to the provision of future storage capacity are outlined.
SunWater has completed a portfolio risk assessment (PRA) on its 25 major dams and has identified a number of dams that do not currently satisfy the ANCOLD fallback position on spillway capacity. It has taken an initiative to target these dams for spillway upgrades to ultimately achieve the ANCOLD fallback standard and has prioritised these upgrades in a preliminary program for action in the short to medium term.
As background to this PRA, SunWater has developed and implemented a dam safety program which has successfully updated all necessary flood hydrology and dam break analyses and reassessed the consequences and hazards associated with dam failures. It has also completed within the last eight years, dam safety reviews on all its dams in preparation for a comprehensive risk assessment process which is now well in-hand. This process will identify and evaluate all other risks, in addition to floods, that should be addressed or at least considered in the planning and design of these spillway capacity upgrades.
This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to PRA and discusses the controlling factors considered in prioritisation. It shows the results and trends of a number of risk ranking methods, provides details of the current level of societal risks in respect of the ANCOLD tolerability limits and outlines SunWater’s current strategy for the timing and staging of spillway upgrades to achieve compliance and an optimum level of risk reduction.
Nicola Woolford, Paul Southcott, Roy Fenderson, Emma Birch
Changes to the Regulatory and legal environment have resulted in an increased focus on the importance of proficient management of dams. Operation and maintenance manuals are now a Regulatory requirement in Tasmania for all but very low hazard dams and are also required to ensure that dams are managed efficiently and safely. To meet these requirements Hydro Tasmania has developed the ‘Smart’ operations and maintenance manual.
Hydro Tasmania has a large portfolio of dams andas a result requires a large number of operations and maintenance manuals. This would result in an overwhelming array of information that is subject to evolving change if the traditional approach to the manual was adopted.
To overcome this burden, a controlled electronic manual was developed to enable:
This paper will discuss how Hydro Tasmania developed its user-friendly operation and maintenance manuals in an innovative, unique and controlled manner to ensure prudent management of dams and to comply with Regulatory change.
Joseph Thomas, Peter Thomson, John Grimston, Sally Marx
The Waimea Basin is located in the South Island of New Zealand. The area has an acute water shortage with recent studies showing the water resources to be over-allocated by 22% for a 1 in 10 year drought security. The current area irrigated is about 3,700 ha and there is additional productive land that could potentially be irrigated if more water were available. Water users have suffered severe restrictions on their water use over recent years through drought management measures imposed to meet critical environmental flow requirements and coastal salinity buffering. This has caused significant production cutbacks for irrigated crops resulting in regional economic loss, affected major urban water supplies resulting in water supply cut-backs affecting domestic and industrial users and also affecting the important environmental values of the Wairoa/Waimea Rivers and the coastal springs that are highly valued by the community and local iwi (Maori).
The principal objective of this project is to carry out a study into the feasibility of water storage in the upper parts of the catchment for enhancing water availability for both consumptive and environmental/community/ aesthetic benefits downstream. The outcome from this feasibility study will provide the community with the necessary information to make an informed decision on proceeding with potential storage options. The Waimea Water Augmentation Committee is overseeing this feasibility study. The study will be completed byJune 2007.
The Waimea Plains area is also quite unique as to the interest and values relating to the water resource as it has multi stakeholder interest. Being close to urban centres, the water resource not only caters for irrigation use but also public water supplies as well as recreational, community interest and cultural values.
This paper sets out the project’s aim, general methodology being followed, and summarises the progress to June 2005.