INTERNATIONAL WATER POWER & DAM CONSTRUCTION
nizedspecialistsindamengineeringandareappointedbytheownerin agreement with the dam safety authority.•
Dam safety authority
:Thedamsafetyauthorityreviewstheannualreportsoftheexperiencedengineersaswellasthefive-yearappraisalsoftheexperts.Italsocarriesouton-siteinspectionsandverifiesthatthe recommendations stated in the annual report and five-yearreportsareobservedandthenecessarymeasuresareimplemented.
iii) Emergency planning
In case of an identified hazard to the dam the situation is managedaccordingtotheemergencyplanningconcept.Itisimportantthatthemeasurestobetakenhavebeenpreparedinadvance.Thesemeasuresconsist of a strategy and of emergency plans. The potentially floodedareaincaseofadambreakhastobedetermined,andtheresultsshouldbepresentedinafloodwaveinundationmap.Thismapallowsevac-uation of the population in the flooded area to be planned. Furtheremergency planning measures include the installation or at least thespecification of the alarm devices, and the organizational provisionsfor ensuring the evacuation of the population. The emergency strate-gy defines three danger levels. Specific technical and operational pro-visionsaswellasemergencyactionsareassignedtoeverydangerlevel.
CONSEQUENCES OF DAM FAILURE
AND MEASURES FOR RISK REDUCTION
Today, a comprehensive safety concept is used for projects withlarge damage potential such as large storage dams, nuclear facili-ties etc. For dams it includes the following key elements: (i) struc-tural safety, (ii) dam safety monitoring, (iii) operational safety andmaintenance, and (iv) emergency planning. Usually design engi-neers are primarily concerned with structural safety; however, forcritical infrastructures like large storage dams, safety goes beyondstructural safety and must include items (ii) to (iv) listed above.Operational safety, which is not considered explicitly in the Swissdam safety concept, is an important issue, which has to be con-sidered. A typical example is the failure of the upper reservoir of the Taum Sauk pump storage scheme in the US, which failed inDecember 2005 (see page XX).Theconsequencesofdamfailureare:lossoflife(reductionoflossof life is the top priority of emergency planning); environmentaldamage; property damage in flood plain; damage of infrastructure;loss of power plant and electricity production; socio-economicimpact; political impact, etc.Theseconsequencescanbereducedbyanumberofstructuralandnon-structural measures. The structural measures are mainly relat-ed to the safety of the dam, i.e. flood safety, earthquake safety, andsite conditions. The non-structural measures include the following:safe operational guidelines for reservoir under normal and abnor-mal operational conditions; implementation of emergency actionplans; implementation of water alarm systems; training of person-nel; lowering of reservoir level in case of safety concerns; periodicsafety checks; engineering back-up to cope effectively with abnor-malandemergencysituations;landuseplanning(politicaldecision);insurance coverage, third party liability coverage (protection fromeconomic losses), etc. The non-structural measures are often moreeffective than structural measures.
MERGENCY PLANNING IN
Emergency procedures include a plan on how to warn the authori-ties and how to alert the population (Pougatsch et al., 1998).Thedamownermustprovideafloodwaveinundationmapshow-ing the flooded area, the energy head level and the arrival time of the flood wave.For dams with a storage capacity of more than 2Mm
a wateralarmsystemismandatoryintheso-calledclosezone.Thiszonewillbefloodedwithintwohoursatmost.Thiscorrespondstoadistanceof about 30km downstream of the dam. The water alarm systemconsistsofspecialsirensthatcanbeactivateddirectlyfromthedam.It has to be maintained and tested on a regular basis by the damowner. In the distant zone – the rest of the flooded area – the alarmisreleasedwiththecivildefencegeneralalarmsirensandbroadcastdirectives.Thisalarmsystemisinstalledandmaintainedbythecan-tons.Inthefact,anewgenerationofsirensaretobeinstalledwhichcan operate both as water alarm sirens and as general alarm sirens.For smaller dams with minor flooded areas the water alarm isreleased using the civil defence general alarm sirens.The cantons and the municipalities are responsible for the plan-ningandpreparationoftheemergencydirectivesandforevacuationof the population.The flood wave inundation maps are used on the one hand foremergency planning purposes and on the other hand to define theapplicabilityoftheregulationstoaspecificdam.Theintensityofthefloodwaveisdefinedastheproductofthewaterdepthwiththeflowvelocity and must be assessed with the limit values given in Table 2.
MERGENCY ACTION PLANS
The main objective of emergency planning is to save lives. The eco-nomical losses of the dam owner and the owners in the flood plaincan be covered by insurance.Emergency Action Plans (EAP) are intended to help the damowner and operator, and emergency officials to minimize the con-sequences of flooding caused by dam failure or the uncontrolledrelease of water from a reservoir. The EAP will guide the responsi-ble personnel in identifying, monitoring, responding to, and miti-gating emergency situations. It outlines “who does what, where,when, and how” in an emergency situation or unusual occurrenceaffectingthesafetyofthedamandthepowerplant.TheEAPshouldbe updated regularly and after important emergency events.Basically, the dam owner is responsible for maintaining a safe damby means of safety monitoring, operations manual, maintenance,repair, and rehabilitation.Inanemergencysituation,thedamownerisresponsibleformon-itoring,determiningappropriatealarmlevels,makingnotifications,implementing emergency actions at the dam, determining when anemergencysituationnolongerexists,anddocumentingallactivities.Inthecaseofanemergency,thedamownerisresponsibleforimme-diate notification of the authorities, who are in charge of warningandevacuationoftheaffectedpopulation.Warningisperformedbyspecial water alarm systems as discussed in the subsequent section.Thebasisforevacuationplanningisadambreachfloodwaveanaly-sis, which shows the inundated area for the worst case failure sce-nario,i.e.thesuddenfailureofthedam.Inaddition,thearrivaltimeof the flood wave, flow velocities and water depth are resultsobtained from such an analysis. As a rule of thumb, it takes abouttwo hours for a flood wave to propagate 30km.
Table 2. Definition of dangerlevels of flood waves
(h:water depth; v:flow velocity)
Danger levels and Dam safety regulations applyintensity of flooding if danger levels are exceeded
h > 2m or v·h > 2m
/sec People inside massive buildings, in railway coaches, in passenger cars, or on campingsites are in danger.
h > 1m or 2m
/sec People inside buildings, in passenger cars
v·h > 1m
/sec or on camping sites are in danger.
h > 0.5m or 1m
/sec People in passenger cars and on camping
v·h > 0.5m
/sec sites are in danger.
0.5m or v·h
/sec The regulations do not apply.