In recent years the option to decommission water supply dams has had renewed focus due to a number of drivers. These include the increased costs of upgrading aging infrastructure against their provided value, climate change reducing the effectiveness of some dams as a reliable water source, greater value placed on environmental outcomes and changing demands for the water including power in case of Hydropower dams. In addition the recent construction of large coastal desalination plants as an alternate water source for large urban areas, particularly in Australia, has reduced the need for some dam assets.
In response to this changing dynamic in the Industry, ICOLD formed a technical committee in 2007 to prepare a bulletin on dam decommissioning for use by those considering the option of decommissioning a dam. The purpose of the bulletin or guideline was not as a design manual but to provide industry with information and guidance to better understand the key drivers of decommissioning and the issues around decommissioning. It is probably a fair summation of the practice to date, that issues associated with decommissioning of major dams have not always been well understood prior to this option being selected. This has on occasion resulted in dramatic increases in the cost of decommissioning, extended timelines and not least, strong community and other stakeholder resistance. Hence the ICOLD decision to prepare a bulletin. The Author of this paper was a part of this committee and has also been involved with a number of dam decommissionings and assisting regulators in developing their own guidelines.
In this paper the key findings from development of the ICOLD bulletin will be presented including illustration of various key issues via case studies from this region and internationally. In particular, the true cost of decommissioning. The final draft of bulletin is currently under review.
Keywords: Decommissioning, ICOLD, community, stakeholder, water supply, hydropower, cost.
M C N Taylor, Dr H E Cherrill, S F Croft, S F Eldridge
The Stuart Macaskill Lakes are two raw water storage lakes with a combined storage of approximately 3280 ML supplying Wellington City, New Zealand. The lakes are High Potential Impact Category (PIC) earth embankment dams constructed on terrace gravel deposits adjacent to the Hutt River and located within approximately 20 to 50 metres of the Wellington Fault Deformation Zone. Construction of the lakes began in 1982 and they were commissioned in 1985.
In early 2008, the lake’s owner Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), embarked on a programme to supplement Wellington City’s water supply storage. Whilst that study is ongoing, GWRC engaged Tonkin & Taylor (T&T) to investigate the feasibility of increasing the Stuart Macaskill Lakes capacity as an interim measure.
The feasibility study concluded in late 2009 that the lake dam embankments could be raised by up to 1.3 metres in height to gain an approximate additional 450 ML of water storage. An important finding of that feasibility study has been that the seismic requirements have increased significantly since the construction of the lakes. To address this issue GWRC is currently constructing Stage Two of a two stage construction programme to both raise the lakes and to incorporate seismic resistant features into the lakes.
The primary design features are downstream rock buttressing in the critical areas of the lakes and synthetic lining the inside of the lake embankments. The buttressing works were completed in early 2011 and the lining and crest raising works are due for completion in 2013.
This paper summarises the design, laboratory testing and construction to enhance the lakes performance during very strong seismic accelerations (Peak Ground Accelerations of up to 1.08g) expected during a maximum design earthquake originating from the Wellington Fault.
Keywords: Water Reservoir, Seismic Design, Geomembrane, Rock Buttressing, Seismic Risk Assessment, Wellington Fault
Dr Andy Hughes
This paper will outline changes currently being implemented to the UK legislation via the Flood & Water Management Act 2010. This legislation has driven a change towards a risk based approach.
Significant consultation with the profession and owners has provided an interesting insight to the different and disparate views of owners, engineers and the public.
The guidance documents associated with the Act associated with floods and risk management are currently being rewritten and will be completed by the time of the conference in Perth and so progress with reformatting of those documents will be reported upon.
Keywords: Legislation, guidance, consultation
Chi-fai Wan, Jason Hascall, Andrew Richardson, John Sukkar
Oberon Dam is the major headwork of the Fish River Water Supply Scheme providing bulk water supply to Oberon Shire and Lithgow City Councils, Sydney Catchment Authority, and Delta Electricity. The dam is owned and operated by State Water Corporation (SWC).
Located on the Fish River 2km south of Oberon in New South Wales, Oberon Dam was completed in two stages in 1946 and 1957. In 1996 the dam was upgraded to pass the 1993 Probable Maximum Flood estimate by raising the dam 1.77m and constructing a 50m wide auxiliary spillway on the left abutment. The upgraded dam comprises a 232m long, 35.3m high concrete slab and buttress section and a 165m long earth embankment section.
A typical buttress dam has its inclined upstream face made up of relatively thin reinforced concrete slabs supported by but not integral with the buttresses, making a relatively flexible dam structure vulnerable to earthquake damage.
As buttress dams evolved from concrete gravity dams, their structural design follows the same principles as applied to gravity dams. However, many buttress dams were designed over 60 years ago using outdated methods that did not consider earthquake loads. Current overseas and local design guidelines do not provide sufficient guidance for checking the seismic stability of existing buttress dams. For instance, the simplified seismic analysis, proposed by Fenves and Chopra to investigate the seismic response of gravity dams to earthquake loads in the upstream-downstream direction, is not applicable to buttress dams which are also susceptible to damage by earthquake loads in the cross-valley direction.
SWC engaged Black & Veatch to carry out a three-dimensional finite element analysis of Oberon Dam to better understand the structural behaviour of the dam under earthquakes. The analysis used both the response spectrum and time history approaches. Due to the uncommon design of Oberon Dam and the limited discussion found in the literature on the dynamic behaviour of buttress dams, the Authors would like to share their experience in the assessment of the hazard, and on the use of modern finite element modelling techniques to investigate the dynamic response of this type of dam.
Keywords: Ambursen dams, Buttress dams, Risk assessment, Time history analysis, Finite element
The Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) is revising the current Intensity-Frequency-Duration (IFD) design rainfall estimates which are an essential component in the design of infrastructure. The current IFDs were developed by over 20 years ago using data from the Bureau’s network of rain gauges and adopting techniques for the statistical analysis of the data that were considered appropriate at the time.
The IFD Revision Project, which will provide revised IFD estimates in November 2012, uses a greatly expanded rainfall database in addition to adopting more statistically rigorous methods that are most appropriate to Australian rainfall data. The revised IFD estimates will be provided for durations from 1 minute to 7 days and Annual Exceedance Probabilities (AEPs) from 50% to 1%. The revised IFD information will be blended with the CRCFORGE estimates developed by each state to enable a smooth rainfall frequency curve to be derived from 50% AEP to 0.05% AEP.
Keywords: Design rainfall, Intensity-Frequency-Duration, IFD .
A.E. Bentley, P.I. Hill, S.M. Lang, M. Freund, A. Richardson
This paper describes the development of a detailed assessment approach using spatial data to estimate the consequences of dam failure across a portfolio of 18 dams in NSW. The assessment is made for potential loss of life; economic and financial losses and a qualitative assessment of environmental and social impacts. The approach is designed around the use and interrogation of spatial databases combined with outputs from hydraulic models. The assessment method is applicable to a wide range of dams in different valleys, each with different downstream characteristics. The paper provides discussion on the advantages of the approach and presents some insights into the effective application to a dam portfolio of significant size and scale.
Keywords: consequence assessment, spatial databases