Russell Cuerel, Richard Priman, Michel Raymond, Ian Hanks
Following significant flood events across Queensland over the last five years causing significant damage in South East Queensland, Bundaberg Burnett region, St. George in the south west and more recently in Central Queensland in the Callide Valley, there has been renewed interest in finding solutions to flooding issues.
Increasing the available flood storage within a catchment is a well-known method of improving flood mitigation outcomes for developed areas. In many basins/catchments, potential flood storage development options (new storages or augmentations to existing storages) can be identified by reviewing previous water supply investigations and flood studies and by scanning topographic mapping. From such site identification there will often be numerous combinations of possible flood storage development options to consider because of the number of tributaries which may contribute to major flood events.
This paper outlines a methodology to screen, within a relatively short timeframe and at relatively low cost, a large number of identified flood storage development options and combination development scenarios and shortlist for more detailed analysis. The screening process is heavily reliant on hydrologic assessments to rapidly short-list scenarios for assessment and then relies on traditional engineering and economic assessments to do the fine tuning of the analysis.
Keywords: flooding, damages, impacts, flood storage, flood mitigation, dams, benefit-cost ratio.
There are many international guidelines, state regulations and technical standards relating to tailings disposal. In addition, the larger mining companies have their own in-house standards and design rules with competent personnel in charge of their operations. Sound embankment design methods can be used by most designers familiar with earth dam design.
The paper gives a listing of many of the current sources of information and guidance available, with some comments by the author on their perceived relevance to the Australian mining industry. Despite the availability of a number of other guidelines at the time, the need for Australian Guidelines was recognised in the mid 1990s and the reasons for the development of the 1999 ANCOLD Tailings Guideline are explained.
Perhaps the best recognition of the need for the original ANCOLD guideline is the degree to which it has been adopted since publishing the 1999 edition. It is in almost universal use in the Australian mining industry and is recognised as providing appropriate and acceptable standards by all state governments. Its use is recognised and sometimes even specified by a number of neighbouring countries and it is also recognised internationally when used by Australian companies with overseas operations.
The reasons for this wide acceptance are described. However, there are some areas where more recent developments have led to the Guidelines becoming dated and improved international guidelines have been published since 1999. The need for a revised ANCOLD guideline and its elevance is then described.
Keywords: Tailings, dams, mining, guidelines
David Hilyard, William Ziegler, Heather Middleton
New South Wales has a significant number of dams, including major water supply dams, located over or near mines. Mining near dams imposes dam safety risks including: mine subsidence, mine blast vibration, presence of mine personnel downstream, rapid changes in consequence during mining, and loss of stored waters. The NSW Dams Safety Committee(DSC) regulates mining near dams, using risk assessment to review applications to mine near dams. A structured approach allows rational, evidence-based decision making by stepping through a procedure involving: initial consultations, screening risk assessment, evaluation of technical arguments, risk assessment, and development of risk management strategies. The risk assessment for dam walls develops acceptance criteria, reviews 19 possible risks to dam walls, and site-specific hazards. For potential for loss of stored waters, four possible groups of flow paths from storage to underground mine are reviewed; flows are evaluated with Monte Carlo simulation in terms of tolerable loss. Risks are assessed from a dam engineering viewpoint, which may be more conservative than the perception of risk in the mining industry, considering both tolerable risks and operational time frames. Case studies include: a tailings dam 100 m upstream of an active open cut and underground portal was undermined by longwall mining, with about 1.5 m subsidence of parts of the embankment as each of four longwall panels was extracted; longwall mining beneath a major Sydney water reservoir, with no observed impact on the stored waters; and open cut mining immediately downstream of a mine water dam. Risk-based methodology has provided the DSC with increased confidence in reviewing applications to mine near dams.
Keywords: Mining, dams, risk assessment, New South Wales, Dam Safety Committee
K.A. Crawford-Flett, J.J.M. Haskell
Dam inventories can provide a comprehensive understanding of a region’s dam population; from dam quantity, type, age, height, and purpose; to ownership profiling and broad-based regional risk assessment using GIS applications. Historically, New Zealand has lacked a comprehensive inventory of dam assets, instead relying on local and industry knowledge to characterise the dam infrastructure and its key properties, issues, and risks.
This paper presents a cross-sectional characterisation of dams in New Zealand, based on the recent compilation and analysis of a New Zealand Inventory of Dams (NZID). The NZID is the first inventory of its kind for NZ dams, comprising almost 1200 unique structures over 3 m in height. Inventory data was sourced from existing publications, NZSOLD, and regional authorities. The analysis of anonymised inventory data provides an understanding of the number and distribution of assets, along with characteristic physical properties (construction material, height, age, purpose).
Statistical comparisons are drawn in relation to published international dam inventories. Similarities and differences in the international dam populations are noted, particularly with regard to construction era and type. The NZ portfolio is unique in that dams are typically shorter in height, and a significant proportion of structures serve the hydroelectric and energy sectors.
Analysis of the new NZID confirms the need for research that is focused on the long-term performance of aging earth dams, particularly those exceeding 40 years of age. In addition to informing research needs and foci, the new NZID provides statistics on the dam population with far-reaching industry and management applications
Michael Bassett-Foss , David Bouma , Dewi Knappstein
The Wairarapa Water Use Project (WWUP) in the southern North Island, New Zealand, is investigating new water storage schemes involving large dams that will allow the community to make use of the water resources that are currently available, but not necessarily available at the time they are needed. It is estimated that the 12,000 hectares currently irrigated in the Wairarapa could be increased to about 42,000 hectares depending on actual demand. The WWUP provides for a range of possible needs, such as supply of new areas of irrigation, increased reliability for existing irrigation and frost fighting, environmental augmentation of low summer river flows, environmental flushing flows, stock drinking water, power generation, municipal water supply, and recreational use.
WWUP objectives include early engagement of stakeholders, early integration of financial, social, cultural and environmental factors in decision-making, management of uncertainty associated with the preliminary level of investigation and evolving regulatory framework, development of an equitable framework for efficiently comparing options, and balancing long and short-term considerations.
A large number of dam options were identified, storing 3 to 80 million m3 of water, and progressively narrowed to a shortlist of 2 sites through a complex process of concept development, desktop studies, site visits, hydrological analyses, cost estimates and multi-criteria analyses.
The WWUP demonstrates how sustainable new major water storage schemes can be promoted in a highly regulated environment of a developed nation.
Keywords: Dams, water storage, stakeholder engagement, environment, water allocation, multi-criteria analysis