Tim Griggs and Richard Herweynen
The river diversion is an important aspect to be considered in the design of a dam. It generally consists of an upstream cofferdam, river diversion conduit and downstream cofferdam and allows the dam to be constructed in a dry section of river.
This paper reviews the diversion design adopted at three recent Australian roller compacted concrete (RCC) dams and comments on the effectiveness of the design in providing risk mitigation during the construction of each of these dams. The dams considered are Paradise Dam (2005), Meander Dam (2007) and Wyaralong Dam (2011).
Rather than selecting an arbitrary design flood for the diversion, a risk-based assessment was used that generally resulted in a relatively low design capacity. Even though there were cases where the diversion capacity was exceeded, it is considered that the risk based design process provided an economical diversion design for these recent Australian dams.
Keywords: Diversion, roller compacted concrete dam, RCC.
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Krey Price, David Moore, John Palensky
Cold water pollution (CWP) occurs when dam releases draw from lower-temperature regions of a reservoir, potentially impacting fish survivability in downstream waterways. Declining fish populations along the Missouri River have prompted recent investigations into solutions for CWP prevention.
Fort Peck Dam is an 80-metre high, 7-kilometre long dam located along the Missouri River; completed in 1940, it is one of the world’s oldest and largest hydraulically filled earthen dams and is listed on the U.S. National Historic Register. Inflow temperatures to Fort Peck Reservoir are significantly warmer than the outflow temperatures through the dam during the months of March through August. A water temperature of 18°C has been identified as critical for spawning and recruitment of locally threatened fish species; however, downstream temperatures typically remain below 14°C during critical time periods. This difference is due to the current deep-water withdrawal from Fort Peck Reservoir.
Ten alternatives were proposed to increase the temperature of the discharge, and an options analysis narrowed the results to a single, preferred alternative that consisted of a flexible, submerged weir around the intake. This paper documents the design efforts undertaken for temperature control measures at Fort Peck Dam, including a description of the modelling methods, design criteria, and effectiveness of the submerged weir alternative.
The use of a submerged weir to increase discharge temperatures relies on the process of passing warmer water from the upper portion of the water column over the weir crest into the intake area, rather than drawing from the bottom of the reservoir. For reservoirs with fluctuating levels, such as those at Fort Peck Dam, a flexible curtain can be suspended a set distance from the water surface using a float system, with the bottom of the curtain anchored to the lake bottom with ballast and cables. The crest elevation is set relative to the thermocline; as the lake level fluctuates, the flexible curtain folds and unfolds in response.
The impacts of CWP are increasingly recognised as an environmental risk worldwide. This paper draws upon the results of similar, implemented projects around the world, including a comparison to cold water pollution prevention measures and costs that have been assessed by CSIRO for application to Australian reservoirs.
Keywords: Cold water pollution, reservoir stratification, thermocline, curtain, fish health
Richard R. Davidson, Nate Snorteland , Doug Boyer, John France
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has embarked upon a monumental journey in applying risk-informed decision making in the management of the safety of the 650 major dams for which it is responsible. This process has shifted safety criteria from fully deterministic to a probabilistic basis. There has also been a shift from de-centralized district-based decision-making to centralized management of resources through the new Risk Management Center (RMC) and the Senior Oversight Group (SOG), a group of senior engineers and managers from across the USACE organization. The risk process began about five years ago with a portfolio prioritisation using screening-level risk assessments of the entire dam inventory, culminating in Dam Safety Action Classifications (DSAC) for each of the dams. Based on this risk prioritisation, Issue Evaluation Studies (IES) were initiated for the highest risk DSAC I and II dams, with each study including detailed failure mode and risk analyses for each dam. Because the Corps was relatively new to dam safety risk analyses, and their dam design history was one of following codified manuals of practice, various risk tools were prepared to provide guidance when assessing the risk of potential static, seismic and flood failure modes, as well as life loss and economic consequences of dam failure. Although these tools provided useful guidance to a relative large population of inexperienced risk estimators, many of these early risk assessments were flawed; they provided unrealistically high estimates of failure probabilities and the tools did not help estimators understand or explain each failure mode. To assist the RMC in bringing more defensible risk estimates to the table and improve consistency of the evaluations, the Quality Control and Consistency (QCC) review process was initiated about two years ago. The QCC process provides high level review of IES activities, including detailed reviews of risk analyses, by a small group of experienced dam safety risk estimators. Not only has this brought risk estimates into a more reasonable range, it has provided valuable training for risk estimators, and important checks and balances on the risk-informed decision making process for moving dam safety upgrade projects forward. The justification for a number of very expensive projects has been challenged and, in some cases, re-prioritised, and other projects have risen to the prominence they deserve.
David Stephens, Peter Hill, Rory Nathan
The estimation of incremental consequences of dam failure often requires consideration of coincident flows in downstream tributaries. In the past overly simplistic assumptions have often been adopted. Examples include an assumption that flows in downstream tributaries are negligible, equivalent to the 1 in 100 Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood, the mean annual flood or the flood of record. Experience has shown that these assumptions often underestimate coincident flows, particularly for extreme events approaching the AEP of the Probable Maximum Precipitation. Additionally, the justification for adopting these techniques is usually driven by ease of use rather than the degree to which they represent the relevant physical processes at play. For some dams, these techniques may have a negligible influence on the overall consequence assessment. However, there are many dams for which an improved understanding of coincident flows using a joint probabilistic framework can result in significantly altered estimates of the natural flood and dambreak flood inundation zone. This can frequently lead to the consequences of the natural flood being larger than would otherwise have been the case, leading to a reduction in incremental consequences. Two examples of such situations are presented, including a description of the techniques used to estimate coincident flows and a discussion on likely influence of these flow estimates on incremental consequences. These examples are then used to draw some general principles for the types of dams at which an improved understanding of coincident flows is warranted.
Keywords: dam failure, coincident, joint probability, consequence assessment
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
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