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A strategy designed to ensure that an existing dam continues to perform effectively will include:
- a set of operating instructions.
- maintenance of the reservoir components.
- an ongoing review of structural performance.
- a system to indicate the appropriate application of resources.
- the ability to respond to an incident.
This paper will explore each of these issues and how they may be applied to dams in a variety of situations. These situations include water supply reservoirs, flood retarding basins, levees and wastewater lagoons. While each situation is different, the underlying principles will remain consistent. The range of situations encountered by Victorian Water Authorities provides the inspiration for the development of an efficient approach to the management of the safety of dams.Learn more
David S. Bowles, Sanjay S. Chauhan, Loren R. Anderson, Ryan C. Grove
A risk assessment (RA) was conducted for 27 miles of Herbert Hoover Dike to better understand and estimate the Baseline failure risk. Unique aspects of this risk assessment included the following: high stillwater levels persisting for almost a year; highly dynamic and spatially variable wind loading; short-duration wind setup that reduces likelihood of piping; dike length that increases probability of failure; and multiple breaches with overlapping inundation areas that affect failure probability and consequences and the risk evaluations.
A wide range of stillwater and wind loading combinations were considered. Following a potential failure modes analysis (PFMA), failure modes included were: piping through foundation, embankment piping, piping along conduits, piping along structures through embankment, embankment and flood wall instability, and overwash and overtopping. System response probabilities (SRPs) were estimated using toolboxes, analyses and expert judgment. Life-loss consequences were estimated using LIFESim. RA calculations were performed using DAMRAE-HHD, which includes length effects. Estimated risks were evaluated against the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) tolerable risk guidelines (TRG). Uncertainties were explored using sensitivity analyses.
This paper provides the insight of one practitioner into the process and application of Dam Safety Risk Assessment. The ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment provide a reasonably comprehensive outline of the key tasks involved in the risk assessment process. The intent of this paper is not to rehash the Guidelines but rather to discuss some of the practicalities of completing a dam safety risk assessment and highlight some key learning’s gained from a wide range of projects for a number of different owners.
The paper includes a brief overview of each component of the risk assessment process as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches to completing a risk assessment project.Learn more