Shane Papworth, Stuart Richardson, David Dreverman, Mel Jackson
A prominent element of the operational environment of a dam is its interaction with the community.The management of public recreational use of irrigation storages is an increasing challenge for Goulburn-Murray Water and the Murray Darling Basin Authority. The upper Murray storages have been significantly affected by the unprecedented low water resource availability which has caused an increasing conflict between the primary use of the dam to supply irrigation water and the secondary benefit of recreation and tourism use by the local communities. Many difficult management issues (media, community relations, political interest) arise from the local community, rather than just from operation of the dam itself.
An increasing awareness of the dire water resource position in recent years has coincided with an ever increasing appreciation of the environmental and social impacts of recreational use. For the storages along the Murray system, effective management is further complicated by complex agency and authority responsibilities, communities and interest groups effectively ‘in competition’ for the water resource.
To better manage these issues, ‘Land and On-Water Management Plans’ have been developed for Lake Mulwala and Lake Hume. Developing the Plans has not been without controversy, but ultimately the Plans have proved to be a simple and successful means of planning for and achieving agreed land and water management outcomes. This in turn is fostering a positive spirit of cooperation and communication with communities currently under considerable stress as a result of prolonged drought.
This paper describes the process, pitfalls and learnings to come out of the development of the Land and On-Water Management Plans.
Key words: Environment, community, irrigation dams, recreational use, planning
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Australia’s prosperity is closely linked to the development of mining. Tailings production has always been associated with mining and acceptable management strategies of tailings have progressively developed to meet ever changing community expectations. In the late 1800’s, tailings were typically dumped into streams or onto land as mullock heaps, resulting in severe pollution. Practices gradually changed so that by the 1920’s tailings were often held in dams or ponds. However failures were common with slugs of slimes and contaminants moving down watercourses. For the purpose of protecting life and property, States started regulation of the management of tailings under various dam safety umbrellas in the late 1980’s. In 1995, Queensland, in consultation with stakeholders, produced tailings management guidelines, which enunciated good tailings management principles. Later guidelines have incorporated many of these principles. In 2002, the regulation of tailings disposal in Queensland moved into the Environment and Resource Management framework, where the emphasis is on obtaining a sustainable environment. Emerging practices are seeking better ways of incorporating mine tailings into the environment with minimal impact. Backfilling of mine workings, integration of mine waste facilities and beneficial use are some of the methods now used for tailings disposal. This paper looks at the historical management of tailings, the evolving regulatory framework, and the emerging practices for protecting the environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends.
Keywords: Dams, Tailings, TSF, Community, River Pollution, Cleanup, Risk, Mining
Bob Wark, Alex Gower. Graeme Mann
Stirling Dam is a 53 m high extreme hazard zoned earthfill dam located in south west WA. Construction was completed in two phases between 1939 and 1947. Recent safety reviews confirmed that the societal risk exceeded the ANCOLD guideline tolerable limit due to inadequate spillway capacity and the lack of embankment filters. Remedial work would involve: widening the spillway; removing the downstream shoulder of the dam; adding downstream filters; and reconstructing the downstream shoulder fill. Rock from the spillway excavation would be used to provide the fill for the downstream shoulder. The works optimisation involved a 3 m raising of the embankment to provide the required spillway capacity.
The design criteria included: ensuring the risks of failure during construction were to be no higher than the risks prior to remedial works; maintaining reservoir operation during construction; and no river releases based on median monthly inflows. This required the spillway crest to be temporarily lowered during construction to provide adequate flood capacity while the embankment height was reduced. A key feature of the design had also been the scheduling of the storage drawdown and remedial works to manage the failure risk and probability of river releases during construction. Higher than average inflows after contract award resulted in water levels above the scheduled drawdown curve. This lead to river releases to prevent spillway flows and rescheduling the onstruction over two seasons.
Keywords: Stirling Dam, water conservation, embankment filters, spillway capacity, construction scheduling
In 2003, the Bureau of Meteorology revised the Probable Maximum Precipitation estimates and rainfall temporal patterns for Tinaroo Falls Dam using the Revised Generalised Tropical Storm Method. Based on the revised floods, the dam was assessed as having an ‘Extreme’ Flood Hazard Category rating. Subsequently a comprehensive risk assessment was undertaken in 2008 and this assessment recommended the dam be upgraded to pass the Fallback AFC which is the PMF event. The current spillway has a capacity for a flood with an AEP of 1 in 200. To achieve the AFC the concrete gravity Main Dam requires stabilising with post-tensioned anchors. The crest of the homogenous Saddle Dam needs to be raised by 300 mm and a filter and weighting zone needs to placed on the downstream face
Keywords: Tinaroo Falls Dam, mass concrete gravity dam, post-stressed anchors, Barron River, filter, weighting zone
Martina Reichstetter and Dr Mohand Amghar
The future effects of climate change on water resources in southeast Queensland and other parts of Australia will depend on trends in both climatic and non-climatic factors. Evaluating these impacts is challenging because water availability, quality and streamflow are sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation. Other important factors include increased demand for water caused by population growth, changes in the economy, development of new technologies, changes in catchment characteristics and water management decisions.
This paper provides an overview of how climate change may affect water yields and water availability in the Tinana Creek catchment. The Tinana Creek water supply is located in the south-eastern costal area of Queensland and covers an area of 783 km2. The catchment experiences a sub-tropical climate with warm to hot summers and mild dry winters. Climate variation and change are expected to impact the upper Tinana Creek water supplies and the planning of potential future water supply options. The Maryborough City’s water supply is currently supplied solely by Teddington Weir to domestic and industrial users. In this paper, climate change impacts on the water yields were investigated by assigning climate change, derived from SimCLIM, onto the input data used in the Sacramento rainfall-runoff model and Integrated Quantity and Quality Model (IQQM). Eighteen different climate change scenarios were undertaken, using three different Global Climate Models (GCM) (CSIRO MK2, HadCM3 and CGCM2), three different emission scenarios (A1FI, B2 and A1B) at two different time steps (2030 and 2050). This paper presents results with current and future climate scenarios of water availability in the study area.
Keywords: Teddington Water supply, IQQM, water resource plan, climate change, SimCLIM, Maryborough.
Alice Lecocq, David Brett, Mike Rankin
Tailings Dams class amongst the world’s largest man made structures. They are interactive structures that evolve over time, with tailings discharge, water management, embankment raising and finally closure and abandonment. Understanding of the design, the impact of operations and regular, committed surveillance is essential to ensure the safety and performance of a tailings dam. Dam Safety Management Plans should be developed to optimise these parameters. These plans should include Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance (OMS) manuals, emergency response plans and monitoring databases. They should be managed by the mine management and implemented by the operations personnel.
The tailings dam operators are the key to a successful dam safety management program. It is imperative that the tailings dam management and operators appreciate the risks inherent with the facility, their role and their responsibilities. They also need to have an appropriate understanding of the tailings dam design features, failure modes and safety triggers. With training it is expected that personnel will be better able to recognise and act on safety issues arising.
The paper presents case histories of tailings dam failures due to poor operation and management and outlines the operational requirements and risks inherent with tailings dams. The paper discusses the training approach and criteria to be adopted, and describes a training course developed by the authors for mine management and operators. The paper examines the feedback collected from the courses held at several mines. A model to successfully implement a surveillance program with the involvement and leadership of the operators is proposed.
Keywords: TSF failures, surveillance program, OMS manuals, training of personnel.