2004 – Dam Safety Emergency Exercises for Dartmouth Dam, Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir

B Dyer, A Evans, J Titterton

Hume Dam is managed by State Water Corporation, NSW while Dartmouth Dam and Yarrawonga Weir are managed by Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW),Victoria, all under direction from River Murray Water (RMW).

A series of dam safety emergency exercises commenced with an exercise involving the above agencies and has built up to a multi-agency exercise. The exercises have been designed to test the Dam Safety Emergency Plans, Emergency Action Plans and Flood Operations Plans for these dams under a variety of emergency situations.

These exercises have consisted of a tabletop exercise in 2002 involving the water agencies RMW, G-MW and State Water which presented terrorism and earthquake scenarios; a flood exercise in 2003 for Dartmouth Dam, Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir with six control rooms set up at dam sites and water agencies; and a multi agency tabletop flood exercise in 2004 for Hume Dam, involving RMW, G-MW, State Water, Police, SES and local government authorities from both NSW and Victoria.

The third exercise focused on communication and flow of information between agencies, not detailed tactical response.

Outcomes aimed for in these exercises have been improvement in the water agency emergency response plans and inter-agency communications, clarification of roles, responsibilities and capabilities, and to determine opportunities for improved cooperation between agencies.

The exercises highlighted areas which require improvement in the area of emergency response. Implementation of recommendations arising from each exercise is in progress.

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