2013 – A case study: how to minimise risks associated with a portfolio of non-revenue generating dams

Monique de Moel and Gamini Adikari

Parks Victoria manages over 4 million hectares of parkland and a portfolio of over $1.9 billion worth of infrastructure assets. Within this portfolio, Parks Victoria is responsible for a large number of dams and their associated structures. Consequence category of these dams varies from Extreme to Very Low. Parks Victoria recognised that these assets required a dam safety management and monitoring program. The development of a program commenced with a portfolio risk assessment in 1998 which progressed to detailed design reviews of a selected number of dams and the initiation of an ongoing dam safety and surveillance program. This initial work identified the need for dam safety upgrade works within this asset portfolio which Parks Victoria has been progressively addressing. In 2012 Parks Victoria identified that a review of the risk profile of the dams was warranted. The review included consideration of alternative options such as staging of works, reducing storage volume and decommissioning, as well as non-technical considerations such as increasing the recreational use and the environmental value of these assets. This paper outlines the approach adopted by Parks Victoria in developing and improving its dam safety program and how it has assisted in minimising dam safety risks. Specifically, Parks Victoria’s approach of adopting measures that recognize the purpose and benefits of the individual storages, whilst being sympathetic to the requirements of the other infrastructure within its diverse portfolio of assets is highlighted. Since this work commenced in 1998, Parks Victoria have been successful in the development of an effective dam safety and management program which has resulted in the reduction of risks associated with this portfolio of assets.

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