R. Nathan, P. Jordan, M. Scorah, S. Lang, G. Kuczera, M. Schaefer, E. Weinmann
This paper describes the development and application of two largely independent methods to estimate the annual exceedance probability (AEP) of Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP). One method is based on the Stochastic Storm Transposition (SST) approach, which combines the “arrival” and “transposition” probabilities of an extreme storm using the total probability theorem. The second method – termed “Stochastic Storm Regression”(SSR) – combines frequency curves of point rainfalls with regression estimates of areal rainfalls; the regression relationship is derived using local and transposed storms, and the final exceedance probabilities are derived using the total probability theorem. The methods are used to derive at-site estimates for two large catchments (with areas of 3550 km2 and 15280 km2) located in inland southern Australia. In addition, the SST approach is used to derive regional estimates for standardised catchments within the Inland GSAM region. Careful attention is given to the uncertainty and sensitivity of the estimates to underlying assumptions, and the results are compared to existing AR&R recommendations.
Keywords: Annual exceedance probability, Probable Maximum Precipitation.
This paper discusses the common environmental issues and requirements project lenders have when financing hydropower dam projects in developing countries. The environmental specialist’s role, as part of the Lender’s Technical Advisor team, is discussed throughout the main phases of project finance (credit approval, financial close, lending/construction and loan repayment/operation). Further, how environmental issues are reviewed and monitored, thereby minimising reputational risks to the lenders are outlined.
Lenders typically consider hydropower dam financing, especially reservoir schemes, as high reputational risk loans. Finance is usually syndicated and although most international lenders are Equator Principles signatories or use the International Financing Corporations (IFC) Performance Standards, some lenders have additional environmental guidelines and requirements to enable financing. These differences are discussed.
Common environmental concerns include loss of habitat of endangered and/or threatened species, changes to river flows, erosion and sediment control during construction, and the minimisation and disposal of project wastes.
These issues are discussed drawing on the author’s experience in monitoring environmental issues of hydropower projects in Asia Pacific and Africa, including both smaller run-of-river schemes and larger storage reservoir projects.
Keywords: Environment, impacts, project financing, concerns, lenders, lenders technical advisor.
Tony Qiu and Brian A. Forbes
The RCC design review and construction supervision of the 60m high Tannur Dam in Jordan was carried out by GHD, Australia.
The 220,000m3 of RCC was placed during February-December 2000; change to the sloped layer method was made once the dam reached 15m height. It produced a 50% increase in placing rate and a considerable saving in costs.
The use of the method is the first known use outside of China, where it was developed during the construction of the 130m high Jiangya Dam in 1997-8. The sloping of the 300mm thick layers of RCC across the dam from bank to bank at grades between 5-8% ensures subsequent layers of RCC can be placed within the initial set time of the lower layer and hence the RCC is monolithic across the lift joint.
This paper briefly describes the project in Jordan and then gives specific details of the use of the sloped layer method. Typical results from the quality control testing during placement and subsequent coring and testing of the lift joints are also provided. The benefits of its use in adverse climatic conditions, such as extreme heat or rainfall and the ways it can be integrated with forming the upstream-downstream slope are also discussed.
The sloped layer method is a significant advancement, particularly for large structures, where lift joint cohesion, tensile resistance and RCC placing rates are vitally important.
Dörte Jakob, Robert Smalley, Jeanette Meighen, Brian Taylor and Karin Xuereb
Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) is one of the required inputs for estimating the PMP design flood. In estimating the PMP, currently no allowance is made for long-term climatic trends. A 2-year project funded jointly by the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Queensland Department for Natural Resources and Water, and with in-kind contributions by the Bureau of Meteorology began in May 2006. This study aims to assess how climate change might affect estimates of PMP. Preliminary results from this work will be presented.
Changes in factors used in PMP estimation, such as storm type and depth-duration-area curves, were assessed using a storm database covering the period 1893 to 2001 (Beesley et al. 2004). Based on the last 50 years, there is little evidence to support the notion that tropical cyclones (connected to major rainfall events) are penetrating further south or have become more frequent. A recent event that led to widespread flooding (Gold Coast, June 2005) was found to have very high storm efficiency. Changes in observed and projected moisture availability were assessed on the basis of a high-quality dataset of surface dewpoint temperatures and climate model output.
It is assumed that PMP received by a catchment is not uniformly distributed over a catchment but rather follows a typical spatial pattern. A pilot study to revise design rainfall estimates is currently under way at the Bureau of Meteorology. The methods developed in the pilot study were used to assess whether the spatial distribution of design rainfall estimates might be changing under a changing climate.
Keywords: Probable Maximum Precipitation, climate change, moisture availability, storm efficiency
J.H. Green, P.E. Weinmann, G.A. Kuczera, R. J. Nathan and E.M. Laurenson
Assigning an Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) to the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP), and subsequently to the PMP Design Flood, is an integral part of the risk assessment process for large dams. Laurenson and Kuczera (1998) conducted a review of existing PMP risk estimation practices in Australia and concluded that, in the absence of any better information, the work by Kennedy and Hart (1984) provided the most appropriate estimates to adopt but with the proviso that the method should be viewed as interim pending the outcomes of ongoing research.
This paper gives an overview of a joint research project that is working towards obtaining credible estimates of exceedance probabilities of extreme rainfalls using the concept of storm arrival probability and storm transposition probability. It also outlines the work to be carried out over the next 12 months that will culminate in the combining of the outcomes of the two components and the application to test catchments. Finally, the paper discusses desirable follow-up action to promote the adoption of the research results by practitioners.