2014 – Clyde Dam and Lake Dunstan; The First 21 Years

Peter F Foster and Peter K Silvester

Clyde Dam, the largest concrete gravity dam in New Zealand, was constructed in the 1980’s on the Clutha River in New Zealand. Lake Dunstan, which is the reservoir formed by the dam, reached its full operating level in 1993, some 21 years ago.
This paper summarises the performance of the dam over this period, the changes in operations that have been undertaken and looks to future challenges. The performance and management of the landslides around Lake Dunstan that were remediated prior to lake filling is outlined. The large floods experienced in the Clutha River in the 1990’s highlighted aspects of the flood management procedures that needed amending to capture lessons learned and some modifications to appurtenant structures have been completed. Changes to the environmental management in moving from water rights to consent conditions under the Resource Management Act are addressed.
Over the last 21 years a sediment delta has progressed down Lake Dunstan, as expected, and a long term sediment management plan has been developed for both Lake Dunstan and Lake Roxburgh which is downstream of Clyde Dam. A summary of the plan is discussed. The seismic hazard at the dam site is currently under study to update the seismic assessment parameters for the dam.


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