Dam safety and risk management

Ensuring a dam’s safety is a key concern for any dam owner, as the consequences of failure can be extremely serious.

The goal for any dam should be minimising commercial and environmental risks and protecting downstream communities, as well as ensuring sustainable operations into the future. To achieve this, you’ll need to develop and implement a holistic and compliant dam safety program that considers ways to reduce the likelihood of risks occurring as well as how to reduce the potential consequences if risks do occur.

Dam safety needs to be a top priority at every stage of a dam’s lifecycle – whether that be design, tendering, construction, operation, maintenance, refurbishment, upgrade or decommissioning.

At Entura, we understand that many dam owners need to manage risks across multiple dams. We draw on our portfolio risk management experience to help you to prioritise and balance resources and actions across your whole dam portfolio so that you can be confident of undertaking the right dam safety works at the right time.

As part of Hydro Tasmania, we have operated a specialist dam safety unit since the early 1970s and carried out extensive dam surveillance across all of the dams in Tasmania’s hydropower system, as well as for several authorities throughout Australia. Our expertise and depth of knowledge in the necessary elements of a successful dam safety program offer you peace of mind that the programs and advice we deliver are relevant and reliable.

And we proudly played an active part in shaping the recognised requirements of a successful dam safety program through our participation in ICOLD and ANCOLD, the international and Australian committees on large dams.

Our comprehensive dam safety services include:

  • development and implementation of dam safety management programs and systems in accordance with legislation and ANCOLD or ICOLD requirements
  • independent auditing of dam safety programs and reviewing of instrumentation, monitoring and inspection practices, including risk-based surveillance reviews
  • dam safety inspections, and flood and earthquake incident inspections
  • dam safety monitoring, including installation of monitoring instrumentation and cameras, data collection and interpretation, including real-time monitoring with alarms, and telemetry of structural monitoring and seismic activity
  • precision structural movement surveys
  • dambreak modelling, flood inundation mapping and consequence assessments
  • dam safety reviews to assess the integrity of the dam against known failure modes, dam safety and design guidelines
  • risk assessment of individual dams and portfolio risk assessment
  • dam safety training
  • identification and quantification of project risks, and development of risk mitigation plans.