2022 – Application of the SFAIRP principle to a diverse portfolio of dams

Mark Pearse- Hydrology and Risk Consulting, Mark Foster – Dam Consulting Services, Marius Jonker – Aurecon,
Muhammad Hameed – WaterNSW, Sam Banzi – WaterNSW, Benson Liu – Hydrology and Risk Consulting

The SFAIRP (so far as reasonably practicable) and ALARP principles require dam owners to identify all credible failure modes and then to determine all the control measures that are reasonably practicable to implement. Many dam owners have undertaken one or more portfolio risk assessments (PRAs) or dam safety reviews (DSRs) which generally provide some indication of the measures that should be considered to
address the major sources of risk. This may have provided the information required in the short term but the need remains to demonstrate that all reasonably practicable control measures have been identified. For most dams the information is insufficient to definitively identify which controls are reasonably practicable. WaterNSW has developed a framework for applying the SFAIRP principle to achieve this requirement. This paper reports the application of the framework to its portfolio of 41 declared dams. It demonstrates the framework’s capability to identify the controls and any associated investigations and identify which controls are reasonably practicable. The framework is transparent, robust and defensible and is considered to be readily transferable to other single dams or portfolios of dams.

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