2009 – Today’s Capital, Tomorrow’s Consequences; Assessing Future Failure Costs

Alice Lecocq, Bob Wark, Paul Hurst, Michael Somerford

The justification for dam safety remedial works is often based on an assessment of life safety risk and financial losses defined at a discrete point in time. However these parameters are likely to change over time with demographic growth, land and industrial development. The Water Corporation has a number of dams upstream of major growth areas and an understanding of the future direct and indirect economic consequences of dam failure are required in order to define the change in risk profile over time.

This paper outlines the study framework adopted by the Water Corporation to review its capital expenditure on its remedial works programme. Dam failure consequence assessments for Wellington, Serpentine and Samson Brook Dams are presented and the paper describes the methodology adopted to forecast the likely development within the inundation areas. A framework to consistently estimate future changes to life safety and economic consequences is also presented.

Keywords: demographic growth, land and industry development, monetary assessment, future trends, consequence assessment.

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