Dr Azan Khan, Ahmad Nasir, Kumud Kandel, Jaya Kandasamy, Hadi Khabbaz, Mahub Ilahee
Cracking in the clay core of embankment dams is important to dam safety because it can cause seepage through transverse cracks and with excessive seepage cracks may begin to erode the soil on the sides of the crack. If there are no filters to control this erosion, the erosion may progress to form a pipe, eventually leading to breach of the dam. Recent climate change has resulted in long term drought conditions in various parts of Australia, especially west of the Dividing Range. The prolonged drought conditions can lead to the loss of moisture content in the clay core causing cracking of the core material. The current research is investigating a relationship between long term drought condition and loss of moisture content in the clay core. This paper presents the loss of moisture content in the clay core of three dams in Australia due to global warming. A rigorous finite element modelling has been conducted to capture the moisture content changes in a typical large clay core dam.
Keywords: clay core, dams, climate change, moisture content
Tommie Conway, Katherine Miller, Peter Hill
The ‘Black Saturday’ fires of the 7th of February 2009 and the continuation of fires over the following weeks had devastating human, environmental and financial costs for Victoria. Many of Melbourne’s water supply catchments and assets were burnt and the major harvesting catchments were seriously threatened. This paper highlights the need for owners and managers of catchments, dams and associated infrastructure to better understand and plan for the potential impacts of fire, given its predicted increased likelihood and severity due to climate change.
The paper will share Melbourne Water’s recent experiences of the fire, the scale of the impact to the business in terms of assets damaged and catchments affected, the extent of the burn and the threat that was faced. It will describe Melbourne Water’s experience with the United States Burnt Area Emergency Response (BAER) team to expediently map the severity of the fires, to identify areas of concern and prioritise fire recovery works. Of interest to those involved in risk management will be the discussion of the construction flood risk analysis at Tarago Reservoir which was revisited due to severe fire damage to the catchment.
Keywords: fire impact, Melbourne’s water catchments, BAER team, hydrology, Tarago, construction flood risk analysis
Russell Paton, Peter MacTaggart, Lee Benson
The Nathan Dam project has been identified by the State Government of Queensland as a potential water supply option to facilitate future growth in central Queensland. The proposed storage is located approximately 69 km downstream of the township of Taroom and would have a storage capacity of 1,080,000 ML which would make it Queensland’s fourth largest storage.
The proposed dam arrangement includes a central concrete gated spillway section across the river in order to maximise the storage volume and limit the flood rise upstream such that flood levels at Taroom are not increased during major flood events. A high level fixed crest spillway, to assist in the passage of rare flood events, forms the right abutment portion of the dam wall. It is proposed that the bulk of the concrete sections of the dam be constructed using roller compacted concrete (RCC).
The investigations to progress Nathan Dam are complicated by the existence of the Boggomoss Snail (Adclarkia dawsonensis) within the proposed inundation area. The snail is listed as a critically endangered species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and a proportion of the snail’s known population is located on a Boggomoss (the colloquial name for an artesian spring) that will be inundated should the project proceed.
SunWater has engaged Australia’s foremost expert on land snails to design a translocation process aimed at relocating the species to alternative habitat outside the inundation area. The process will seek to not only protect the snail from the dam development, but to increase both its numbers and distribution thereby reducing risks to the currently isolated population from threats such as fire and predation. It is the first time in Australia that such a trial has been attempted, and SunWater is working closely with the Federal Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) to ensure that the process is consistent with their policies and guidelines.
The paper will discuss the engineering and environmental challenges of the dam and how the Environmental Impact Study process can influence the delivery of a project.
Keywords: Nathan Dam, Environment, Engineering
John Prentice, Jim Barrett, Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper
Located in south-eastern Australia, the River Murray has provided almost a century of regulated water supply, bringing immense benefit to human welfare during this period. However a healthy river is recognised as being essential to its sustainable future. With this in mind, in March 2001 the Murray- Darling Basin Ministerial Council approved several actions including “a structural works program to provide passage for migratory fish, from the sea to Hume Dam”. The paper outlines progress to-date on this ambitious fishway construction program.
The program involves building fishways on twelve of the fourteen weirs on the river, and at the barrages. The criteria established, to enable passage for all native fish species known to regularly migrate, are detailed. The important lessons learned from earlier fishways, and confidence gained from the Torrumbarry Weir vertical-slot fishways constructed in the 1990’s, have been applied to the new designs. Part way through the program, important changes were made to the design criteria, and the reasons for doing so are described.The fishways constructed at the barrages near the Murray mouth, and their need to respond to estuarine and lake conditions, are recognised. In addition, Mildura and Euston Weirs vary from the other River Murray structures, and their special fish passage consideration is described.
In achieving a successful outcome to date, the important role of river managers, engineers and scientists working together with design consultants is acknowledged. A tri-State monitoring and assessment program has been established to enable the questions about the short and long term outcomes of the program to be answered. The beneficial results to date are detailed.
This paper outlines the steps and challenges involved in delivering this decade long program, scheduled for completion in 2011.
Keywords: Sustainable, fishways, fish passage, native fish, hydraulics, fish monitoring, Murray.
David Brett, Bruce Brown, Imran Gillani, David Williams
This paper reports the direction of a current review of the 1999 ANCOLD Guidelines on Design, Construction and Operation of Tailings Dams. A sub-committee has been formed and has determined that the majority of the current guidelines need only minor editing but that additional attention is required to the concepts of risk and design for closure.
Major mining companies recognise that effective operation and closure of their tailings facilities are fundamental to their continued business from financial and political aspects. Risk needs to be managed throughout the life cycle of a TSF through planning, design, operation, closure and post-closure. Various methods are used to assess the “consequence category” of a TSF. This then determines design and operational criteria. Risks are identified and controls developed to limit these to acceptable levels.
The involvement in the sub-committee of representatives of the mining industry gives an industry perspective to this issue. This includes determination of acceptable risk levels and how to manage operations to achieve them.
The current ANCOLD Guidelines are very limited in terms of guidance for closure and possible abandonment of TSFs. However this area is perhaps the most critical from an economic and environmental perspective. The issues to be faced at closure and post-closure should be considered at the planning and design phases. The paper outlines some of the post closure cases that might need to be considered in design.
Keywords: guidelines, tailings dams, ANCOLD
Bob Wark, Paul Hurst, Andy Peek
Current practice has been to use API Spec 10 Class G oilwell cement for the bond zone of post-tensioned ground anchors for dams. Historically, the concern had been that the use of AS 3972 Type GP cement and AS 1478 Type HWR water reducers (“superplasticisers”) would have adverse effects on the corrosion resistance of bare strand in the bond zone, due to additives present in some types of superplasticiser.
The superior fluidity of grouts using Type GP cement, together with the cement availability and potential economy, lead the authors to run accelerated corrosion tests based on the ASTM B117 Neutral Salt Spray Test, using sections of tendon embedded in a grout of Type GP cement and a modern superplasticiser alongside similar samples using Class G cement.
This paper describes the results from the testing, which indicate identical corrosion protection performance from both types of grout over a total of 5,000 hours exposure.
Keywords: Post-tensioned anchors, oilwell cement, superplasticisers, Type GP cement, corrosion protection