Dennis C. Green
Current good practice for risk management as represented in ANCOLD guidelines emphasises risk reduction beyond tolerable risk levels to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). Risk reduction reflected in key design parameters such as the spillway design flood is monitored on a quantitative basis, while the guidelines also draw attention to a number of non-quantifiable measures.
Recent work health and safety legislation in Australia does not at first appear to relate to dam safety, but it mandates elimination of risk, and, if that is not possible, then it mandates reduction of risk So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP). It is tempting to believe that this is equivalent to ANCOLD’s approach to ALARP, but the devil is in the detail of the legislation. This paper argues for a change to a more systematic presentation of recording of decisions on dam safety risk management, lest the legislation expose dam owners unwittingly to liability when they thought they were following good practice. In particular, the re-focussing of ANCOLD Guidelines to align more recognisably with the new legal paradigm, including preparation and adoption of a Safety Case, is recommended.
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JN Rossouw, AHM Görgens and PC Blersch
Shallow lakes or reservoirs generally exist in either of two stable states; a clear water state dominated by rooted water plants, or a turbid state dominated by free floating algae. A dramatic event can switch a shallow reservoir from one state to another. Voëlvlei Dam, a relatively shallow off-channel storage reservoir in the Berg River catchment, South Africa, switched from a stable, clear water system to a turbid, algal dominated system when it was severely drawn down during a drought in the mid-2000s.
It appears that there is tipping point beyond which a shallow reservoir can switch from one stable state to another and that there are buffers that maintain it in a specific state. Voëlvlei Dam is a good example of what such a switch might be (low water levels and high wind mixing) and what buffers (change to bottom-feeding fish species) may maintain it in the new state. It is only by understanding the hydrodynamic behaviour of a shallow reservoir that one can predict what these switches and buffers could be. Complex hydrodynamic modelling and comprehensive fish monitoring will facilitate more informed decision making and better management of reservoirs.
This paper describes the mechanisms that lead to the switch and how it can be prevented by developing an understanding of the hydrodynamic behaviour of shallow reservoirs through hydrodynamic water quality modelling.
Janice Green, Cathy Beesley, Cynthia The, Catherine Jolly
Design rainfall estimates are essential inputs to the design of infrastructure such as gutters, roofs, culverts, stormwater drains, flood mitigation levees and retarding basins. They are also integral to large dam spillway adequacy assessments undertaken to determine the flood magnitude that existing dams can safely withstand.
The previous design rainfall estimates for probabilities from the 1 year Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) to the 100 year ARI were derived by the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) in the early 1980s using a database comprising primarily of Bureau raingauges and techniques for statistical data analysis that were considered appropriate at the time. More recently, estimates of rare design rainfall estimates for probabilities from 100 year ARI to 2000 year ARI have been derived for each state, with the exception of the Northern Territory, using the CRC-FORGE method.
As part of the revision of the 1987 edition of Australian Rainfall and Runoff: A Guide to Flood Estimation being undertaken by Engineers Australia, the Bureau conducted a five year project to revise the design rainfall estimates for probabilities from 1 year ARI to 100 year ARI. The new design rainfall estimates are based on a greatly expanded database which incorporates data collected by organisations across Australia. These data have been analysed using contemporary statistical methods that are appropriate for Australian rainfall data. These new Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IFD) design rainfalls were released in July 2013.
Over the next 18 months, the Bureau will be deriving design rainfall estimates for probabilities more frequent than 1 year ARI and revising the existing estimates of the CRC-FORGE rare design rainfalls. The estimates for more frequent design rainfalls will replace the current ad hoc estimates that have been derived by organisations in the absence of other estimates. The revised rare design rainfall estimates will replace the current estimates that were derived on a state by state basis and which, for most states, are now in need of revision as a result of the release of the new IFDs.
Przemyslaw A. Zielinski
Three aspects of the current engineering practice in using event trees in dam safety risk analyses are discussed in the paper. These aspects include assignment of probabilities for initiating events, treat-ment of dependencies in the event tree, and dynamic aspects of dam system behaviour and accounting for time. The paper discusses limitations of the methodology and common mistakes in engineering applications of event tree methods when assessing dam safety risks and making safety decisions for specific dams. Of particular importance is the discussion of incorrect interpretation of dependency structure when addressing common cause failure modes.
A C Mostert, D J Hagen, P C Blersch
The changes in flood operations since the 2006 flood, covering weather monitoring, hydrological flood station monitoring, and downstream monitoring, are discussed in detail in the paper.
Stephen Newman, Rod Jacobs, and Dr John Yeates
Independence Group (IGO) is assessing the feasibility of re-commissioning a closed copper-zinc mine in Victoria. Due to the acid producing potential of the mine tailings if exposed to oxygen they are to be contained in a saturated condition not only during the life of the mine but well beyond closure and effectively in perpetuity. The tailings are to be stored in a saturated condition underground in the mining void however due to the limited volume available approximately half of the tailings produced over the mine life will require containment in a purpose built surface Tailings Storage Facility that would need to perform as a water retaining structure.
This paper describes key challenges with tailings management including demonstrating the viability of maintaining permanent saturation of the tailings and the long term integrity of the structure. Excessive poor quality seepage, piping and other failure modes have also been considered in the long term design of the closed Tailings Storage Facility. A surveillance program to provide early identification of potential issues has also been developed.
The design is consistent with ANCOLD guidelines and used a risk based approach to assess key issues associated with the extended design life.