Dam Safety

​​​
Photo shows water pouring from side of failed dam.The Water Management Act 1999 ('the Act') and the Water Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015 ('the Regulations') ensure owners of existing dams meet their dam safety responsibilities. The Regulations set out the ongoing activities and reporting requirements for dam safety and incorporates the requirements of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) for dam safety.

The level of ongoing dam safety activities and reporting under the Regulations are dependent on the dam's Consequence Category as developed under ANCOLD. The Consequence Category is based on the severity of damage and loss to a downstream environment and infrastructure and potential Population at Risk (PAR) within the inundation area in a dambreak event situation. See the Consequence Category spreadsheet below for further assessment criteria details.

Dams that have a Significant or higher Consequence Category require more ongoing safety activities and reporting than for dams that have a Low or Very Low Consequence Category.

For dams that do require more ongoing safety activities and reporting, the following sections provide the starting point for when undertaking the required activity.


Dam Surveillance

Safety surveillance is an ongoing requirement for existing dams depending on the dam's Consequence Category. When required to be undertaken and provided, field information on the current condition of a dam is collected and documented in a surveillance report. The report is to include any safety issues identified that need to be addressed or require further attention. Action to address these issues can then be approved by the Department as required.

Dam Safety Surveillance Report Form

www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0054-00597

Guidelines have been developed to assist dam owners and consultants in the preparation of 5 year comprehensive surveillance reports. A surveillance report proforma is available to assist in documenting the surveillance inspection.

Guidelines for 5 Year Dam Safety Surveillance Reports

www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0054-00596

Dam Safety Emergency Plans

Dam safety emergency plans are required for all dams where potential of Loss of Life in the event of a dam failure has been identified. In documenting the dam safety emergency responses and procedures, a dam safety emergency plan is to be developed and once developed be implemented in the event of a dam incident. The dam owner should maintain a copy in a secured location and provide a copy to the Department for uploading to The LIST database for access by State Emergency Services (SES) as required.

The Plan provides general information about the dam, its location and outlines the potential inundation area in the event of a catastrophic dam failure. The Plan provides the relevant contact details for people to be contacted in an emergency situation and provides the emergency evacuation procedures and processes.

Guidelines have been developed to assist dam owners and consultants in the preparation of the Plan.

Guidelines for Dam Safety Emergency Plans

www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0054-00598

A proforma is available that provides the key aspects of a Plan.

DSEP Proforma for Consultants

www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0054-00599

Guidelines for Undertaking Dam Incident Investigations

Dam incident investigations and reporting are required activities under the Water Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015.  The competence class that a person must have is also defined in the Regulations.

These guidelines have been developed to assist dam engineers and dam consultants when undertaking dam incident investigations and reporting.

  Guidelines for undertaking dam incident investigations   (76Kb)


Consequence Category

Guidelines

These guidelines are provided to assist consultants and engineers working in the dams and the water industry to prepare Consequence Category assessments to meet the requirements of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and
Environment. In addition, these guidelines aim to establish a greater degree of consistency in the way Consequence Category assessments are undertaken, both between dams and between consultants undertaking these assessments.

  Guidelines on undertaking consequence category assessments for dams   (248Kb)

Spreadsheet

A spreadsheet has been developed to allow a dam to be assessed to determine the Consequence Category by assessing potential damage and loss to infrastructure and any health, social and environmental impacts in an event of dam failure. The spreadsheet also allows potential Population at Risk (PAR) to be determined within the inundation area in an event of a dam failure.

  Consequence Category Assessment Spreadsheet   (122Kb)

Guidelines to be followed in regards to dam safety

Regulation 10 of the Water Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015 states that a person undertaking an activity for the purposes of, or in connection to, the design, construction, surveillance or decommissioning of a dam must carry out that activity in accordance with the guidelines, as amended or substituted from time to time, specified in Schedule 1 of the Regulations.  Schedule 1 of the Water Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015 details a range of ANCOLD and Departmental guidelines that are to be followed in relation to a range of activities.

The following table outlines the Departmental guidelines that apply and a link to those guidelines. Where any of the guidelines mentioned in Schedule 1 have been amended or substituted with new documents these will be listed in the following table.

ActivityWater Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015
reference
Link to relevant guide; note that in some cases the guideline has been amended or substituted
Preparing design plans and specifications










Schedule 1, Clause 1 (d): Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008) published by the Department of Primary Industries and Water
Permits issued before 31/12/15 may refer to Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008).

Permits issued since 1/1/16 must refer to either the:

or

​Preconstruction, investigation, design and reporting
​Schedule 1, Clause 2 (a): Guidelines for Pre-construction Reports (December 2015) published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

Guidelines for Pre-construction Reports (2015)
​Schedule 1, Clause 2 (e): Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008) published by the Department of Primary Industries and Water
Permits issued before 31/12/15 may refer to Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008)

Permits issued since 1/1/16 must refer to either the:

or

​Supervising construction and decommissioning
​Schedule 1, Clause 3: Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008) published by the Department of Primary Industries and Water
Permits issued before 31/12/15 may refer to Guidelines for the Construction of Earth-Fill Dams (2008)

Permits issued since 1/1/16 must refer to either the:

or

​Preparing Work-As-Executed reports
​Schedule 1, Clause 4: DPIPWE Guidelines for Work-As-Executed Reports for Completed Dam Works (December 2009) published by the Department of Primary Industries and Water
Guidelines for Work-As-Executed Reports for Completed Dam Works (December 2009)

Comprehensive surveillance, inspections and reportsSchedule 1, Clause 7 (b): Guidelines for 5 Year Dam Safety Surveillance Report DPIPWE May 2015, published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment


​Schedule 1, Clause 7 (e): Guidelines on Undertaking Consequence Category Assessments on Dams DPIPWE December 2015, published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0054-00596






Guidelines on Undertaking Consequence Category Assessments on Dams DPIPWE December 2015
 
​Safety reviews for Consequence Category Assessments


​Schedule 1,Clause 8 (c): Guidelines on Undertaking Consequence Category Assessments on Dams DPIPWE December 2015, published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Guidelines on Undertaking Consequence Category Assessments on Dams DPIPWE December 2015
​Dam incident investigations and reports



​Schedule 1, Clause 9 Guidelines for Undertaking Dam Incident Investigations DPIPWE 2015, published by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Guidelines for Undertaking Dam Incident Investigations DPIPWE 2015




 


List of consultants who can assist in dam safety

A list of consultants who have indicated they are able to provide a consultancy service for ongoing dam safety activities has been developed for your use.

  List of Dam Safety Consultants   (21Kb)


Further Information

The Water Management (Safety of Dams) Regulations 2015 and the Water Management Act 1999 are available at:www.thelaw.tas.gov.au

Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD): www.ancold.org.au

Contact

Dam Safety Coordinator
Julian Johnstone
171 Westbury Road
Prospect TAS 7249
Phone: 03 6777 2215
Mobile: 0427 838 841
Fax: 03 6777 5153
Email: julian.johnstone@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Dam Safety Engineer
Sam Ditchfield
1 Franklin Wharf
HOBART TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3005
Mobile: 0417 057 862
Email: sam.ditchfield@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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