2002 – Meeting Referable Dam and Water Management Requirements of the Queensland Water Act – A ‘How To’ Guide

R.A. Ayre and T. L. McGrath

The regulatory environment of Queensland’s water resources has changed significantly within the last few years as a consequence of the passing of the Water Act 2000. SunWater, as the owner of referable dams and the operator of water infrastructure, is required to observe the provisions of the new Act.

SunWater has undertaken dam failure analyses of a number of its dams in accordance with the new guidelines prepared by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. The results of these assessments are being used as part of a portfolio risk assessment of its assets to help prioritise refurbishment activities. Aspects within the guidelines relate to various ANCOLD publications, with a focus on the consequence of failure for determining incremental hazard categories and appropriate design standards for spillway adequacy.

SunWater also operates its schemes under the provisions of Interim Resource Operation Licenses (IROLs). As part of Government’s water planning process, SunWater is required to submit proposed water management arrangements for its schemes. SunWater develops these arrangements, which include operation, water trading, and monitoring rules, to meet its business objectives and the objectives of government. With government approval, these proposed arrangements will translate to the provisions of Resource Operation Licenses when the Resource Operation Planning (ROP) process is completed.

This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to meeting regulatory requirements in the above areas.

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